Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14550
Ocular surface health of the Finnish elderly population
Acta Ophthalmol. 2022 Mar 24.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the clinical ocular surface characteristics in a population-based sample of Finnish elderly people. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 601 subjects (335 females, 266 males) born between the years 1933-1956 and living in Savitaipale, Finland. Ocular surface health was evaluated using a comprehensive set of diagnostic tests. Previous dry eye (DE) diagnosis and history of drug treatment of DE were also recorded. Differences between sexes were estimated with Wilcoxon rank sum test and Fisher's exact test. Results: Overall, 10% and 33% of people displayed signs of DE and ocular surface disease (OSD), respectively, and 30% had been previously diagnosed with DE and 36% used some form of drugs for DE. Men displayed more severe signs of meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis and conjunctival redness (p < 0.001), while women had higher scores in corneal staining (p = 0.005) and OSD Index (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Signs of OSD and DE are common among the Finnish elderly population. However, the diagnosis is affected by the diagnostic criteria used and significant differences exist between sexes. Although women were more frequently diagnosed with DE and OSD and experienced more ocular surface irritation, men had more often lid and meibomian gland-related issues. The current diagnostic criteria of DE pose a risk of misclassifying men, who commonly display less severe symptoms in comparison with women yet exhibit more severe clinical signs associated especially with the lid margin.
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