March 2001

Reflections on Sex-Related Risk of Eye Disease

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(3):428-429. doi:10.1001/archopht.119.3.428

THERE ARE MANY eye conditions that clinicians and epidemiologists find to be more common in women than in men. In this editorial, in keeping with the theme of the March 21st issue of jama;, I will focus on those conditions more common in women. Some of these are directly related to reproductive exposures, but most are not. Some have been studied in systematic ways in epidemiologic investigations, which have provided clues as to a cause.

Nuclear and cortical cataracts, neovascular age-related maculopathy, and poorer vision are frequent problems affecting older persons of both sexes, but an excess has been found in women. These findings are derived from data from the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,1 the Framingham Eye Study,2 and the Beaver Dam Eye Study3,4 in this country, and studies of age-related eye diseases in other countries have found similar results.510 Additionally, dry eye syndromes that may not result in permanent loss of vision but are at least an annoyance are more common in women.1113 On the other hand, women have lower rates of asteroid hyalosis14 and corneal arcus.15

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