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ARTICLE |

Incidence of Ulcerative Keratitis in a Defined Population From 1950 Through 1988

Jay C. Erie, MD; Martin P. Nevitt, MD, MPH; David O. Hodge, MS; David J. Ballard, MD, PhD
Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(12):1665-1671. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090120087027.
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Objective:  To determine the incidence of ulcerative keratitis and to assess trends in risk factors leading to ulcerative keratitis.

Design:  Retrospective incidence cohort study.

Setting:  General community.

Patients:  Population-based sample of residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, in the 39-year period between 1950 and 1988.

Main Outcome Measure:  Cases of ulcerative keratitis.

Results:  One hundred forty-one cases of ulcerative keratitis were diagnosed among 131 residents (64 men and 67 women) of Olmsted County. The mean annual ageadjusted incidence per 100 000 people was 5.3 (95% confidence interval, 4.4 to 6.2). A 435% increase in the incidence of ulcerative keratitis was observed in Olmsted County residents from the 1950s (2.5 per 100 000 people) to the 1980s (11.0 per 100000 people) (P=.001). The cases of ulcerative keratitis associated with contact lens wear increased from 0% in the 1950s and 1960s to 32% in the 1970s and 52% in the 1980s.

Conclusion:  The incidence of ulcerative keratitis has increased significantly in this community. Contact lens wear was the most important risk factor for the development of ulcerative keratitis during the last decade.

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