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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-46

Demographic and clinical variations of keratoconus in Saudi population

1 Department Optometry, King Abdullaziz University Hospital; Department Optometry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Optometry, Aseer Central Hospital; Vision World Center, Abha, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdullah A Assiri
Al Soudah RD, Building Number: 4142, P.O. Box 7393, Abha 62514
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjopt.sjopt_43_20

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PURPOSE: The aim of this prospective study was to identify the demographic and clinical variations of keratoconus (KC) in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: A self-administered survey was completed by patients in Saudi hospitals. The survey included questions on demographics, educational level, treatment options, dry eye, eye rubbing because of allergy, residence, family history, and consanguineous marriage. RESULTS: Six hundred and forty-eight patients (375 – male, 273 – female; mean age: 26.89 [standard deviation: 7.04] years; range: 11–50 years) were conducted at 13 central hospitals in all 13 administrate areas of Saudi Arabia over a 1-year period. Five hundred and forty-three (83.8%) patients had a secondary school diploma or diploma's degree of education and mostly were from the Aseer and Riyadh regions. The geographical distribution rate of KC was highest in the mountainous areas. For dry eye, 21.9% and 44.8% of the patients, respectively, reported frequent or occasional dryness and 13.4% and 48.9% of the patients, respectively, reported frequent or occasional bouts of eye allergy. Furthermore, 17.9% and 61.9% of the patients, respectively, reported that they constantly or sometimes rubbed their eyes. Marriages were endogamous in 53.5% of the patients and the family history was positive by 56.8%. There was a history of ocular disease in 27% of the patients and the systemic disease was 13%. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to describe the regional demographic and clinical variations of KC in Saudi Arabia. Its findings suggest that the different distribution of keratoconic patients between provinces is attributable to genetic and/or environmental factors.

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