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Exfoliation syndrome in the Reykjavik Eye Study: Risk factors for Baseline Prevalence and 5-Year Incidence
  1. Arsaell Arnarsson1,
  2. Fridbert Jonasson1,*,
  3. Karim F Damji2,
  4. Maria S Gottfredsdottir3,
  5. Thordur Sverrisson3,
  6. Hiroshi Sasaki4
  1. 1 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2. N, Iceland;
  2. 2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Iceland;
  3. 3 Department of Ophthalmology, Landspitalinn, 101 Reykjavik, Canada;
  4. 4 Department of Ophthalmology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Iceland
  1. Correspondence to: Fridbert Jonasson, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iceland, Landspitalinn, Landspitalinn, Reykjavik, 101, Iceland; fridbert{at}


Purpose: To examine the age- and gender- specific prevalent and 5-year incident risk of developing exfoliation syndrome (XFS).

Methods and participants: A population-based random sample of citizens 50 years and older, 1045 persons had baseline examination in 1996; 846 of the 958 survivors (88.2%) had a follow-up examination in 2001.

Following maximum dilatation of pupils diagnosis of exfoliation was established on slit lamp examination. An extensive questionnaire was administered at baseline and follow-up examination. Prevalent and incident risk was then calculated using a multivariate analysis.

Results: The following variables were found to correlate significantly with prevalence risk of XFS at baseline; age, female gender, increased iris pigmentation, moderate use of alcohol and self-reported asthma. We also found that compared with those that consumed dietary fiber rich vegetables, green or yellow vegetables, and fruit less than once a month in their 20's and 40's, those consuming the same food items 1-2 times every two weeks were found less likely to have XFS. The same applied to those consuming dietary fiber rich 1-2 times every two weeks in their 40’s and 60’s.

Conclusion: Food items that are possibly surrogates for antioxidative effect may correlate with decreased risk of XFS and increased iris pigmentation may correlate with increased risk. Given the large number of comparisons, our findings require validation through additional clinical studies. Increased age and female gender increase likelihood of XFS.

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