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Dry eye disease, dry eye symptoms and depression: the Beijing Eye Study
  1. Antoine Labbé1,2,3,
  2. Ya Xing Wang1,
  3. Ying Jie4,
  4. Christophe Baudouin2,3,
  5. Jost B Jonas1,5,
  6. Liang Xu1
  1. 1Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  2. 2Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital, Paris and Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, Versailles, France
  3. 3Clinical Investigation Center (CIC) 503, Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital, Paris, France
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Eye Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Liang Xu, Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, 17 Hougou Lane, Chong Wen Men, Beijing 100005, China; xlbio1{at}


Aim To investigate the association between dry eye symptoms and depression in an adult population.

Methods In this population-based cross-sectional study, a random sample of 1957 subjects from the Beijing Eye Study was examined for dry eye disease (DED) in 2006. All patients completed an interviewer-assisted questionnaire on dry eye symptoms and underwent measurement of tear break-up time (TBUT), slit-lamp evaluation of corneal staining and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and the Schirmer test. In 2011, 1456 subjects from this sample were evaluated for depression using a depression scale. The association between depression symptoms and dry eye clinical tests was evaluated.

Results Definite depression was more prevalent in patients with DED than in subjects without DED (13.7±0.4% vs 8.6±0.3%, p=0.02). The depression score was correlated with dry eye symptoms (correlation coefficient r=0.07; p=0.013) but not with TBUT (p=0.18), the Schirmer test (p=0.37), corneal staining (p=0.30) and MGD evaluation (p=0.93). In multivariate regression analysis, the risk of definite depression remained significantly associated with dry eye symptoms (p=0.028) after adjusting for lower cognitive status (p=0.01), rural region of habitation (p=0.023) and lower body weight (p=0.05).

Conclusions In an older population from Beijing, depression was associated with DED and in particular with dry eye symptoms.

  • Ocular surface
  • Epidemiology

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