OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between body mass index (BMI) and dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey in 85,264 Japanese men and women aged 40 to 74 years who participated in the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study for the Next Generation (JPHC-NEXT Study). Dry eye disease was defined as the presence of severe symptoms or clinical diagnosis. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) of DED associated with BMI and their two-sided 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We adjusted for age, cohort area, visual display terminal time, smoking status, alcohol intake, education status, income status, as well as history of hormone replacement therapy for women. RESULTS: Prevalence of DED was 23.4% (n = 19,985; 6,289 men, 13,696 women). Higher BMI was correlated with a lower prevalence of DED in a dose-response fashion, with an adjusted OR of DED (95% CI) per 1 kg/m2 increment of BMI of 0.98 (95% CI: 0.97-0.99) for men and 0.97 (95% CI: 0.97-0.98) for women. CONCLUSIONS: This large population-based study showed an inverse relationship between BMI and prevalence of DED in a Japanese population. Underestimation of DED is warned, especially for participants with high BMI.
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