|Title||WHERE HAVE ALL THE KERATOCONICS GONE?|
|Author, Co-Author||Karen Yeung, Jennifer Tsai, Barry Weissman|
Southern Hem I,II
|Abstract|| PURPOSE. Clinicians comment that few evaluated keratoconic patients are over 50 years of age. We hypothesized that keratoconic patients may present less frequently for contact lens care as they age rather than their numbers drastically declining.
METHODS. Charts of keratoconic patients seen in one hospital-based contact lens practice from 1994 through August 1996 (30 months) were retrospectively reviewed. Each patient had been independently diagnosed as keratoconic by both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. Each patient was followed at least two years. The number of clinical visits and ages during the patients' second year of care were considered. RESULTS. Data were collected from 106 keratoconic patients (69 male; 37 female). Ages during their second year of care ranged from 17 to 71 years with a mean of 38 (SD+/-12), and showed an approximately normal distribution from 10 to >70 years. Current ages of these patients range from 20 to 77 with a mean of 44 (SD+/-12) years. Average number of office visits/year ranged from 1 to 13 with a mean of 3.8 (SD+/-2.7); correlation coefficient (r) of the linear regression of visits/year vs age was low. On a decade basis between 10 and 60 years of age, there was no difference in number of office visits/year in the second year of care (ANOVA p=0.10). CONCLUSION. Our data confirm a decline in numbers of keratoconic patients 60+ in age, and the number of professional contact lens evaluations/year was found to be stable. Other hypotheses to explain a decline in the number of keratoconic patients over 60 years of age should be considered, but could include discontinuation of contact lens wear with age, physical relocation after retirement, and/or mortality.
|Affiliation of Co-Authors||Southern California College of Optometry, Jules Stein Eye Institute|