Prevalence, Risk Factors and Health-Related Quality of Life in Dry Eye
The purpose of this cohort study was 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.
The BOSS (2005 to 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 3,275 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.
It was reported that 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 to 2.11), current contact lens use (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.53 to
2.64), allergies (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.22 to 2.08), arthritis (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.85),
thyroid disease (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.99), antihistamine use (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.18 to 2.02),
and steroid use (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.06). Dry eye was also associated with lower scores on the
Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (β=–3.9, p<0.0001) as well as on the National Eye
Institute 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) (β=–3.4, p<0.0001) when
controlling for age, sex and comorbid conditions.
In conclusion, 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.