Association among pterygium, cataracts, and cumulative ocular ultraviolet exposure: A cross-sectional study in Han people in China and Taiwan

Natsuko Hatsusaka, Naoki Yamamoto, Hisanori Miyashita, Eri Shibuya, Norihiro Mita, Mai Yamazaki, Teppei Shibata, Hidetoshi Ishida, Yuki Ukai, Eri Kubo, Hong Ming Cheng, Hiroshi Sasaki

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Abstract

Purpose Pterygium is an ocular surface disorder mainly caused by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. This study explored the relationships between six cataract types with pterygium and UV exposure. Methods We have previously studied cataracts in residents of three regions in China and Taiwan with different UV intensities. From that study, we identified 1,547 subjects with information on the presence or absence of pterygium. Pterygium severity was graded by corneal progress rate. Cataracts were graded by classification systems as three main types (cortical, nuclear, posterior subcapsular) and three subtypes (retrodots, waterclefts, fiber folds) with high prevalence in middle-aged and elderly people. We calculated the cumulative ocular UV exposure (COUV) based on subject data and National Aeronautics and Space Administration data on UV intensities and used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios for the associations of COUV, cataract, and pterygium. Results We found an overall pterygium prevalence of 23.3%, with significant variation among the three regions. Four cataract types (cortical, nuclear, posterior subcapsular, and retrodots) were significantly associated with the presence of pterygium. Conclusions There was a significant association between COUV and pterygium, indicating that COUV is associated with the risk of pterygium development and that pterygium is useful as an index of UV exposure. Furthermore, the type of cataract in eyes with pterygium may indicate the level of UV exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0253093
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number6 June
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06-2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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