Correlation between the presumed pterygium with dry eye and with systemic and ocular risk factors

Correlação entre o pterígio presumível com olho seco e com fatores de risco sistêmicos e oculares

Leidiane Adriano Etiene Lorriane de Souza Persona Isvander Gustavo de Souza Persona Regina Celia Nucci Pontelli Eduardo M. Rocha About the authors



To estimate the epidemiology of the pterygium and its correlation with dry eye symptoms and with the potential systemic and ocular predictors.


This study is a population-based, cross-sectional study in which random visits were made to the 600 households of 600 participants of age ≥40 years in Ribeirão Preto-SP (n=420) and Cassia dos Coqueiros-SP (n=180) in Brazil. The participants were subjected to a structured interview with a detailed questionnaire to collect information on demography and the potential risk factors. Next, random participants with pterygium (n=63) or not (n=110) were evaluated for the ocular surface changes.


The frequency of pterygium in Ribeirão Preto was 21% (15.7% among women and 32.1% among men; p=0.0002). In Cássia dos Coqueiros, the corresponding frequency was 19.4% (17.3% among women and 25.5% among men; p=0.28). The mean age of the affected individuals was higher than that of the unaffected ones (65.6 ± 10.5 years vs. 61.2 ± 12.0 years, p=0.02). A positive correlation was noted between pterygium and any prior radiotherapy and chemotherapy (p<0.0001, for both). A higher score on corneal fluorescein and conjunctival lissamine green staining was asso ciated with pterygium (p=0.0003 and 0.0001, respectively).


We noted a high frequency of pterygium in two Brazilian adult populations, mainly among the men and elderly. Ocular surface damage and a previous history of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy were found to be associated with pterygium.

Pterygium/epidemiology; Dry-eye syndrome; Prevalence; Risk factors

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