June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Assessing the Risk factors of Keratoconus in Saudi Arabian population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Saad Aljohani
    Optometry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
  • Naganathan Muthuramalingam
    Optometry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
    Optometry, Salus University , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Nawaf Almutairi
    Vision Science, Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, United States
    Optometry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
  • Yousef Aldebasi
    Optometry, Qassim University, Buraidah, Qassim, Saudi Arabia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Saad Aljohani, None; Naganathan Muthuramalingam, None; Nawaf Almutairi, None; Yousef Aldebasi , None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 4804. doi:
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      Saad Aljohani, Naganathan Muthuramalingam, Nawaf Almutairi, Yousef Aldebasi; Assessing the Risk factors of Keratoconus in Saudi Arabian population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4804.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Keratoconus(KC) is a common corneal ectatic disorder of multifactorial yet unknown etiology. KC affects both genders and all ethnic groups worldwide. Genetic and environmental factors were found to influence this non-inflammatory condition; according to some investigators KC is thought to be an inflammatory process. Saudi Arabian people are exposed to harsh environmental changes they also suffer higher risk of genetic transmission due to cultural practices. The purpose of this study is to study the risk factors associated with the KC in a Saudi population. Our goal is to strengthen the current evidence and promote a better understanding of the epidemiology and etiology of KC. These data support future developments of improved diagnosis and targeted therapeutics for KC.

Methods : A questionnaire was distributed to patients seeking care in eye clinics in various regions of Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire included questions of demographic characteristics and potential risk factors. Patients were divided into cases (with KC) and controls (without KC but with other ocular problems). KC diagnosis of the patients were made by the attending optometrists or ophthalmologists. Multivariate logistic analyses were performed to identify the risk factors for KC.

Results : Fifty-two cases and 180 controls participated in the study. The mean age of KC group and control group was 26.11 ± 6.7 years and 25.26 ± 7.11 years respectively. Of the patients with KC, 77% had unilateral and 23% had bilateral KC. Multivariate analysis showed that family history of keratoconus (OR, 14.18; p = 0.001), eye rubbing (OR,8.32; p = 0.02, ), allergy (OR, 5.69; p = 0.02) and dryness scale (OR, 2.23; p = 0.02) were significant risk factors but gender, smoking and the use of sun glasses did not contribute as the factors in the multivariate analysis.

Conclusions : This study supports the hypothesis that the environmental changes as well as the cultural practices involving consanguineous marriages increase the risk of KC in Saudi Arabia. Further studies are warranted, with a large cohort of population, to confirm the risk factors and the incidence characteristics of KC in Saudi populations.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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