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Post Info TOPIC: Quality of Life in Keratoconus

Date: Sun Sep 25 8:36 AM, 2005
Quality of Life in Keratoconus

American Journal of Ophthalmology
October 2004 (Volume 138, Number 4)

Quality of Life in Keratoconus

Kymes SM, Walline JJ, Zadnik K, Gordon MO; Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study Group
American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2004;138(4):527-535

Keratoconus (KC) is one of the most common corneal degenerations that becomes symptomatic in young adulthood and remains a common indication for penetrating keratoplasty. The authors hypothesized that, although many patients with KC have only mild to moderate visual loss, the burden of this corneal degeneration may play an important role in reducing quality of life (QOL) because KC begins at a young age.

The National Eye Institute-Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) was distributed to 1166 patients within the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) study, a multicenter observational study designed to assess the natural history of KC. The NEI-VFQ was administered during the first follow-up examination.

The mean age at baseline was 39 years, with men representing 56% of the patients. QOL measures were lower when binocular visual acuity was less than 20/40 (in all cases except general health and ocular pain), and in instances of keratometric readings greater than 52 diopters. Contact lens wear was associated with higher scores on most scales measured, but lower scores on ocular pain.

Visual acuity and corneal curvature had the strongest impact on QOL measured by the NEI-VFQ. Although many patients with KC have mild to moderate visual loss, the findings in this study suggest that QOL measures of patients with this corneal degeneration may play an important role that cannot be assessed simply by traditional measures of visual function.

RESULTS: Binocular entrance visual acuity worse than 20/40 was associated with lower quality of life scores on all scales except General Health and Ocular Pain. A steep keratometric reading (average of both eyes) >52 diopters (D) was associated with lower scores on the Mental Health, Role Difficulty, Driving, Dependency, and Ocular Pain scales. Scores for CLEK patients on all scales were between patients with category 3 and category 4 age-related macular degeneration (AMD) except General Health, which was better than AMD patients, and Ocular Pain, which was worse than AMD patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Keratoconus is a disease of relatively low prevalence that rarely results in blindness, but because it affects young adults, the magnitude of its public health impact is disproportionate to its prevalence and clinical severity.



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Posts: 437
Date: Sun Sep 25 10:02 AM, 2005

Quintrix, very good article...As patients we now what they are talking about. And they are talking truth. What may it mean for us in the future?


Date: Mon Sep 26 12:12 AM, 2005

Hi Yarsky,

I think what the article shows is that there are a "disproportionate" amount of people who are stuck in a "medical loop" (never getting the health care they expect) more than other illnesses, which is not only very expensive for the patient but emotionaly and physically draining as well.

Luckily there are new treatments taking hold to address the problems which exists in kc for a "disproportionate" amount of people.

All the Best

-- Edited by QuintriX at 00:13, 2005-09-26

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