Lower humidity and higher ozone levels were associated with dry eye disease in a South Korean population, according to Sung Ha Hwang, MD, and colleagues.
The researchers reported in JAMA Ophthalmology that they collected air pollution measurements, such as mean annual humidity, particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide levels from 283 national monitoring stations in South Korea.
For 16,824 surveyed adults, researchers developed sequential models controlling for covariates: model 1 controlled for sociodemographic factors and model 2 controlled for sociodemographic, behavioral and clinical factors.
Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 µm (PM10) were negatively correlated with humidity, unlike ozone and sulfur dioxide. Ozone was negatively correlated with PM10, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, according to the study.
The researchers found increased humidity was associated with decreased prevalence of symptoms and diagnosis of dry eye disease (DED).
Air pollutant factors such as PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide were not associated with regional prevalence of symptoms and diagnosis of DED, according to researchers.
In model 1, researchers found a 5% increase in humidity level correlated with a decrease in the prevalence of DED, and a 0.003 ppm increase in ozone level was associated with symptoms of DED.
In model 2, a 5% increase in humidity level was correlated with a decrease in the prevalence of symptoms of DED, and a 0.003 ppm increase in the ozone level was associated with symptoms of DED, according to the study.
“This large-scale population-based study demonstrated that decreased humidity levels and increased ozone levels were associated with DED after controlling for known risk factors such as sex, thyroid disease, dyslipidemia, subjective health awareness and previous ocular surgery,” the researchers wrote. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.