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Assessment of tear film in subjects with a high body mass index

Authors Alanazi SA

Received 2 June 2019

Accepted for publication 14 July 2019

Published 26 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 77—84


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Mr Simon Berry

Saud A Alanazi

Cornea Research Chair, Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11433, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the tear film in subjects with a high body mass index (BMI).
Methods: Twenty male subjects aged 23–42 years (mean ± standard deviation =31.3±5.7 years) with a high BMI [median (interquartile range) =31.8 (5.2) kg/m2,] were recruited. An age-matched control group of twenty male subjects aged 22–38 years with a normal BMI [20.5 (2.8) kg/m2,] also participated in the study.
Results: There were significant (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test; P<0.05) differences in the BMI, non-invasive tear break-up time (NITBUT), and tear ferning (TF) scores between the study and control groups. There were some differences in the ocular surface disease index (OSDI), tear meniscus height (TMH), and phenol red thread (PRT) scores between the study and control groups, but these differences were not significant (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test; P>0.05). For the study group, the NITBUT and TF tests mean scores showed a dry eye condition (8.5±2.8 s and 2.0±1.1, respectively). However, these two tests showed a normal eye condition within the control group (14.7±2.8 s and 0.7±0.6, respectively). The TMH score had strong correlations with the NITBUT (r=0.711; P=0.001) and PRT scores (r=0.566; P=0.009) and strong negative correlations with age (r=–0.503; P=0.024) and the OSDI scores (r=–0.520; P=0.018). The TF score had a strong correlation with age (r=0.579; P=0.007) and strong negtive correlations with the scores from the NITBUT (r=–0.525; P=0.018), TMH (r=–0.575; P=0.008), and PRT (r=–0.773; P=0.001) tests.
Conclusion: The acquired data suggest a high BMI has an effect on the quality of tears. The quality of tears seems to be lower in subjects with a high BMI compared with normal subjects. On the other hand, the tear volume in subjects with a high BMI was just as high and adequate as for normal eye subjects.

Keywords: body mass index, tear film, dry eye, tear ferning test, correlation, tear meniscus height

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