The Risks of Corneal Surface Damage in Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye Disease: A 17-Year Population-Based Study in Taiwan

Ning Hung, Eugene Yu Chuan Kang, Tay Wey Lee, Tien Hsing Chen, Yu Chiau Shyu, Chi Chin Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the epidemiologic characteristics and risk of corneal surface damage in patients with aqueous-deficient dry eye disease (DED) in Taiwan. Design: Retrospective, population-based cohort study. Methods: We used claims data in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database from 1997 to 2013 of patients with DED, defined according to diagnoses, drug codes, and clinical follow-up. A comparison cohort without DED was selected through propensity score matching. The main outcome measures were corneal surface damage, including corneal erosion, corneal ulcers, or corneal scars. Results: Patients with DED had a significantly higher rate of corneal surface damage (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.70; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.38-3.06, P <.001), especially higher in patients aged <18 years (HR 6.66; 95% CI 3.58-12.41) than in older patients and in women (HR 2.98; 95% CI 2.57-3.46) than in men (HR 2.22; 95% CI 1.78-2.77), compared to those in the non-DED cohort. DED with diabetes mellitus (P =.002), rheumatoid arthritis (P =.029), or systemic lupus erythematosus (P =.005) was positively associated with corneal surface damage. The overall prevalence of DED was 7.85%, higher among women (10.49%) than men (4.92%), and increased with age (0.53%, 3.94%, 10.08%, and 20.72% for ages <18, 18-39, 40-64, and >65 years, respectively). The prevalence increased gradually during the study period. Conclusions: The younger age group (<18 years) had the highest risk of corneal surface damage in aqueous-deficient DED. Other predisposing factors included female sex, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. To improve clinical care, special attention is required for patients with DED with these risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - 07 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'The Risks of Corneal Surface Damage in Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye Disease: A 17-Year Population-Based Study in Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this