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B. M. Miljanovic, R. Dana, D. Sullivan, D. A. Schaumberg; Prevalence and Risk Factors for Dry Eye Syndrome Among Older Men in the United States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):4293.
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Dry eye syndrome (DES) is one of the most frequent reasons for seeking eye care in the US, but its frequency and risk factors have not been extensively studied among men.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 25,444 US male physicians, all participants in the Physicians’ Health Study, to study their history of diagnosed DES and symptoms of DES. We defined DES as the presence of clinically diagnosed DES or severe symptoms (both dryness and irritation constantly or often). We calculated the age-specific prevalence of DES and adjusted the overall prevalence to the age distribution of men in the US population in 2004 to estimate the number of men affected presently, and then projected estimates forward to the expected population in the year 2030. We used logistic regression to examine associations between demographic and other risk factors and DES.
The prevalence of DES increased with age, from 3.9% among men 50-54 years old to 7.67% among men 80 years and older. Compared with men 50-54 years old, being 75 years or older was a significant risk factor for DES (odds ratio [OR]=1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.15-1.97) for 75-79y old; (OR=1.76; CI=1.34-2.32) for 80 years and older (P for trend<0.0001). History of high blood pressure, (OR=1.28; CI=1.12-1.45), and benign prostatic hypertrophy (OR=1.25; CI=1.09-1.44) were also significantly associated with a higher risk of DES in the study population. The age-standardized prevalence of DES was 4.34%, or 1.68 million men aged 50 years or older in the US. Assuming age-specific risks remain constant, DES can be expected to affect over 2.79 million men aged 50 years or older in the US by 2030.
Dry eye syndrome leading to a clinical diagnosis or severe symptoms is prevalent in older men. The findings of higher risks among men with hypertension or benign prostatic hypertrophy point to the need for further research on the impact of comorbid conditions and their treatments on DES. The aging of the population is predicted to result in a growth to more than 2.7 million American men aged 50 years and older with DES by 2030. A better understanding DES and its impact on public health and quality of life is an important goal.
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