Prevalence of Keratoconus Among a Palestinian Tertiary Student Population
Mohammad M. Shehadeh*, 1, 3, Vasilios F. Diakonis1, 2, Sara A. Jalil3, Rania Younis3, Jamal Qadoumi3, Liana Al-Labadi3
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2015
First Page: 172
Last Page: 176
Publisher ID: TOOPHTJ-9-172
Article History:Received Date: 18/5/2015
Revision Received Date: 14/9/2015
Acceptance Date: 15/9/2015
Electronic publication date: 31/12/2015
Collection year: 2015
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
To screen for keratoconus and potential associated risk factors in a tertiary student population sample.
Population and Methods:
This cross sectional study included 1234 students attending An-Najah National University (Nablus, West Bank, Palestine), that were randomly selected from a total of 20,000 university students. 634 (51.3%) student participants responded by completing a self-administered questionnaire and were assessed by means of corneal topography. Following initial evaluation, participants were referred for Pentacam evaluation if they demonstrated either a mean keratometry of more than 45 diopters, corneal astigmatism of more than 2 diopters and/or if asymmetric topographic patterns were present. Pentacam images were analyzed by an experienced ophthalmologist based on a number of indices and the participants were classified as normal, keratoconus suspects, and keratoconus patients.
A total of 620 participants (mean age, 20.1±1.6 years) were included in this study, 379 (61.1%) were females and 241 (38.9%) were males. Nine subjects were diagnosed with keratoconus, demonstrating a prevalence of 1.5%. 52 (8.4%) participants showed at least one abnormal pentacam index, and were considered as KC suspects.
Keratoconus is a prevalent disease among the tertiary Palestinian student population. This may be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The results of this study signal the need for public health outreach and intervention for keratoconus.