It is observed that few patients over the age of 60 regularly attend the keratoconus clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The hypothesis that patients with keratoconus have a shorter life expectancy owing to underlying connective tissue related disease was tested. From patient records a sample of 337 keratoconus patients aged at least 40 years by 1991 were identified, of which 279 were living, 13 were deceased, and 45 were untraceable. The mortality rate for keratoconus patients was compared with that of the general population using actuarial English life tables. Results show no significant difference between the general population mortality rate and that of the keratoconus sample even with adjustment for social class. Possible explanations for the non-attendance of older patients are discussed.
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