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Measures of Air Pollution Linked to Dry Eye Disease

Higher ozone levels and lower humidity levels linked to DED, but no correlation seen for PM10

eye dropper

FRIDAY, March 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Certain measures of air pollution correlate with dry eye disease (DED), according to a study published online March 10 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Sung Ha Hwang, M.D., from Gachon University in Incheon, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a population-based cross-sectional study using data for 16,824 participants from the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The authors examined the correlation between outdoor air pollution, using measurements collected from 283 national monitoring stations, and DED.

The researchers found that higher ozone levels and lower humidity levels correlated significantly with symptoms and diagnosis of DED. After controlling for sociodemographic factors, an increase in ozone levels of 0.003 ppm correlated with symptoms and diagnosis of DED (odds ratios, 1.16 and 1.21, respectively), while decreased symptoms and diagnoses of DED were seen for a 5 percent increase in humidity levels (odds ratios, 0.87 and 0.86, respectively). After adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical factors, these correlations persisted (increase in ozone: odds ratios, 1.17 and 1.27, respectively, for symptoms and diagnosis of DED; increase in humidity: odds ratios, 0.88 and 0.86, respectively, for symptoms and diagnosis of DED). There was no correlation for levels of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <10 µm (PM10) or sulfur dioxide with symptoms or diagnosis of DED.

"Higher ozone levels and lower humidity levels were associated with DED in the Korean population, while PM10 level was not associated with DED," the authors write.

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