Performed at the Department of Ophthalmology, Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.
Prevalence of pterygium in indigenous Australians within central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study
Article first published online: 27 APR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology © 2011 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
Volume 39, Issue 7, pages 604–606, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Landers, J., Henderson, T. and Craig, J. (2011), Prevalence of pterygium in indigenous Australians within central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, 39: 604–606. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2011.02532.x
Financial disclosure: Partial equipment grants for the study were received from:
• Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia: B & L Lowe Grant
• NH&MRC: Centre for Clinical Research Excellence
- Issue published online: 3 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 27 APR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 FEB 2011 07:12AM EST
- Received 23 October 2010; accepted 24 January 2011.
- Indigenous Australians;
Background: To determine the prevalence of pterygium within the indigenous Australian population living in central Australia.
Design: Clinic-based cross-sectional study.
Participants: A total of 1884 individuals living in one of 30 remote communities within the statistical local area of ‘Central Australia’. This equated to 36% of those aged ≥20 years and 67% of those aged ≥40 years within this district.
Methods: Participants aged 20 years or over were recruited as they presented to the eye clinic at each remote community. Slit-lamp examination was performed, and the presence of a pterygium or evidence of previous pterygium surgery was recorded.
Main Outcome Measures: The prevalence of a pterygium in one or both eyes is presented.
Results: Pterygium was present in one or both eyes of 9.3% of individuals aged 40 years or older. Right and left eyes were affected equally (χ2 = 0.19; P = 0.91). There was a significant association between the presence of a pterygium and age (t = 3.99; P < 0.0001). There was no association with gender (χ2 = 1.06; P = 0.30).
Conclusion: Pterygium was present in a significantly higher proportion of indigenous Australians compared with non-indigenous Australians. This is similar to previous findings of the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program and may be due to a difference in proportion of hours spent outdoors and consequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation.