Dry eye in the beaver dam offspring study: Prevalence, risk factors, and health-related quality of life

Adam J. Paulsen*, Karen J. Cruickshanks, Mary E. Fischer, Guan-Hua Huang, Barbara E.K. Klein, Ronald Klein, Dayna S. Dalton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

248 Scopus citations


Purpose To estimate dry eye prevalence in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS), including a young adult population, and investigate associated risk factors and impact on health-related quality of life. Design Cohort study. Methods The BOSS (2005-2008) is a study of aging in the adult offspring of the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study cohort. Questionnaire data on health history, medication use, risk factors, and quality of life were available for 3275 participants. Dry eye was determined by self-report of frequency of symptoms and the intensity of those symptoms. Associations between dry eye and risk factors were analyzed using logistic regression. Results The prevalence of dry eye in the BOSS was 14.5%: 17.9% of women and 10.5% of men. In a multivariate model, statistically significant associations were found with female sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33-2.11), current contact lens use (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.53-2.64), allergies (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.22-2.08), arthritis (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.12-1.85), thyroid disease (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.02-1.99), antihistamine use (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.18-2.02), and steroid use (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.16-2.06). Dry eye was also associated with lower scores on the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (β = -3.9, P <.0001) as well as on the National Eye Institute 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) (β = -3.4, P <.0001) when controlling for age, sex, and comorbid conditions. Conclusions The prevalence of dry eye and its associated risk factors in the BOSS were similar to previous studies. In this study, dry eye was associated with lower quality of life on a health-related quality-of-life instrument and the vision-specific NEI VFQ-25.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-806
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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