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Y. Takano, M. Dogru, J. Shoji, S. Bonini, D. Barbosa, Y. Satake, H. Fujishima; Ocular Allergy World Study: Comparison of Demographics of Severe Ocular Allergy Patients in Japan, Italy and Brazil. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):6320.
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Severe ocular allergies such as atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) and vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) are potentially blinding ocular surface disorders. International comparisons of the prevalence and the demographic characteristics of severe ocular allergies are essential for a better understanding of the global epidemiology and factors that may contribute to their severity. We present data comparing the characteristics of severe ocular allergy patients from three participating countries, Japan, Italy and Brazil.
Allergy specialists from several nations were requested to participate in this preliminary study. Representative clinicians from participating nations carried out a standard multiple question survey concerning the presence of personal or familial atopic diseases, serum antigen-specific IgE, medications used and corneal, limbal and tarsal clinical findings. The characteristics of patients visiting ocular allergy specialist clinics in collaborating centers in Japan Italy and Brazil were compared. The data were collected by slit lamp examinations, questionnaires conducted at patient visits and chart reviews.
Patients in Japan had a significantly greater mean age (20,11,10 years) and incidence of corneal complications (61,12,12%) and a larger percentage of patients with cobblestone-like papilla (68,8,6%) compared to Italy and Brazil. Patients with a history of atopic dermatitis was also prominent in Japanese patients (86, 20, 25%)
In this study, differences in clinical characteristics and severity were observed between Japanese, Italian and Brazilian patients. Although certain biases might have been involved in the current study, our results suggest that Japanese patients may present with more severe features of ocular allergic diseases than Italian and Japanese patients. The greater percentage of patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis may be a factor in the severity of Japanese patients. Further studies involving other institutions are warranted to further clarify the influence of other factors including ethnicity and climate.
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