The association between risk factors for metabolic syndrome and meibomian gland disease in a dry eye cohort

Natalia Mussi, Waqas Haque, Danielle M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Risk factors for metabolic syndrome include abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, high triglycerides and/or low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hyperglycemia. Risk factors for metabolic syndrome have been associated with dry eye disease; however, their association with meibomian gland disease (MGD), a subtype of dry eye, is unclear. In the present study, we investigated risk factors for metabolic syndrome in a dry eye cohort with and without MGD. Methods: This retrospective case-control study evaluated electronic medical records at a major urban outpatient medical center to identify patients with a known diagnosis of dry eye disease with and without MGD. Males and females were matched for age, smoking status, race, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). Patient demographics, anthropometric measurements, medical history, clinical findings, and serologies were analyzed. A diagnosis of MGD was based on clinical signs noted in the medical record. Results: MGD was not associated with BMI, smoking, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension or hyperlipidemia in this dry eye cohort. MGD was associated with male sex and increasing age. While increasing age was weakly correlated with decreased low density lipoprotein cholesterol and non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol, serum lipid levels were not associated with MGD. Conclusion: Importantly, we found that risk factors for metabolic syndrome are not specifically associated with an increase in MGD when compared to non-MGD dry eye subjects. While risk factors for metabolic syndrome are associated with dry eye disease, they likely reflect a chronic systemic state of low-grade inflammation that negatively impacts the function of both lacrimal and meibomian glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3821-3832
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Dry eye
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Meibomian gland disease
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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