JUN 29, 2021
Cornea/External Disease, Refractive Mgmt/Intervention
Using national health and weather datasets, researchers examined the relationship between meteorological conditions and risk of a visit for allergic conjunctivitis (AC).
This retrospective, case-crossover study included patient data from 74,951 individuals from a Veterans Affairs clinic and local climate data from the National Climactic Data Center. All patients were assigned a random control date prior to diagnosis and the daily time-lagged exposures were computed for 30-day lags. Investigators calculated associations between temperature, temperature variation, relative humidity, temperature-humidity interactions and visit risk.
Prevalence of AC visits was highest in spring (>10% April–May) in the Northeast and Southeast, and lowest in winter (<6.1% December–February) in the Pacific Northwest. Risk of an AC visit was positively tied to temperatures, temperature variation and temperature-relative humidity interaction and negatively linked with relative humidity. The associations were strongest in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast and Lower Midwest.
The study was limited to a veteran population older than typical allergic conjunctivitis patients such as those undergoing cataract or refractive surgery.
This is an interesting study that looked at clinical visits for allergic conjunctivitis among various regional populations. The authors used a very large dataset that could be mirrored in a younger population undergoing refractive surgery.