The association between pterygium and conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence : The Norfolk Island Eye Study

Sherwin, Justin C., Hewitt, Alex W., Kearns, Lisa S., Griffiths, Lyn R., Mackey, David A., & Coroneo, Minas T. (2011) The association between pterygium and conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence : The Norfolk Island Eye Study. Acta Ophthalmologica, 91(4), pp. 363-370.

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Purpose: To investigate the association between conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence (UVAF), a biomarker of ocular ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, and prevalent pterygium.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study on Norfolk Island, South Pacific. All permanent residents aged ‡15 were invited to participate. Participants completed a sun exposure questionnaire and underwent autorefraction and slit lamp biomicroscope examination. Area of conjunctival UVAF (sum of temporal ⁄ nasal area in right and left eyes) was determined using computerized methods. Multivariate logistic and linear regression models were used to estimate the associations with pterygia and UVAF, respectively.

Results: Of 641 participants, 70 people (10.9%) had pterygium in one or both eyes, and prevalence was higher in males (15.0% versus 7.7%, p = 0.003). Significant independent associations with pterygium in any eye were UVAF (per 10 mm2) [odds ratio (OR) 1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16–1.28, p = 0.002], tanning skin phenotype (OR 2.17,1.20–3.92, p = 0.010) and spending more than three-quarters of the day outside (OR 2.22, 1.20–4.09, p = 0.011). Increasing quartile of UVAF was associated with increased risk of pterygium following adjustment of age, sex and time outdoors (pTrend = 0.002). Independent associations with increasing UVAF (per 10 mm2) were decreasing age, time outdoors, skin type and male gender (all p < 0.001). UVAF area correlated well with the duration of outdoor activity (pTrend < 0.001).

Conclusion: Pterygium occurs in approximately one-tenth of Norfolk Islanders. Increasing conjunctival UVAF is associated with prevalent pterygia, confirming earlier epidemiological, laboratory and ray-tracing studies that pterygia are associated with UVR. Protection from the sun should be encouraged to reduce the prevalence of pterygium in the community.

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ID Code: 62465
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2011.02314.x
ISSN: 1755-375X
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Deposited On: 12 Sep 2013 06:39
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2013 07:11

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