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Fifteen-year incidence rate and risk factors of pterygium in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh


Purpose To report 15-year incidence rate and associated risk factors of pterygium among people aged 30 years and above at baseline in the rural clusters of longitudinal Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study (APEDS III).

Methods The baseline APEDS I included 7771 participants of which 6447 (83%) were traced and 5395 (83.7%) were re-examined in APEDS III. To estimate the incidence of pterygium, we selected participants who were 30 years and above at baseline (4188), of which 2976 were traced and 2627 (88.3%) were examined, and based on inclusion criteria, 2290 participants were included in the study. The incidence rate of pterygium was defined as the proportion of people free of pterygium at baseline who had developed the condition at 15-year follow-up (range 13–17 years). Univariate and multivariable analyses for risk factors were undertaken.

Results The sex-adjusted incidence rate of pterygium was 25.2 per 100 person-years (95% CI 24.8 to 25.7) which was significantly higher for men than women (26.3 per 100 person-years (95% CI 25.6 to 27.0) and 24.7 (95% CI 24.1 to 25.3) respectively). At the multivariable analysis, male gender (RR: 1.35, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.83), no formal education (RR: 2.46, 95% CI 1.22 to 4.93), outdoor occupation (RR: 1.47, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.9) and lower body mass index (BMI) (<18.5) (RR: 1.25, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.55) were associated with increased risk of pterygium.

Conclusions The overall incidence rate of pterygium was high in this rural population, especially in men and those engaged in outdoor activities, lack of formal education and with lower BMI. It is likely that greater exposure to ultraviolet light is a major contributing factor, thus warranting preventive strategies.

  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Trial
  • Diagnostic tests/Investigation
  • Optics and Refraction
  • Public health
  • Glaucoma
  • Vision
  • Retina
  • Treatment Medical
  • Medical Education
  • Anatomy
  • Macula
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Optic Nerve
  • Eye (Tissue) Banking

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