Pinna, Antonio <1963- > and Blasetti, Francesco and Zinellu, Angelo and Carru, Ciriaco and Solinas, Maria Giuliana (2013) Meibomian gland dysfunction and hypercholesterolemia. Ophthalmology, Vol. 120 (12), p. 2385-2389. ISSN 0161-6420. eISSN 1549-4713. Article.
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Objective: Hypercholesterolemia (total cholesterol 200 mg/dl) is a significant risk factor for ischemic heart,
cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular disease. Increased cholesterol in the glandular secretion has been postulated to be necessary for the development of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a common form of chronic blepharitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate a possible correlation between MGD and hypercholesterolemia in young and middle-aged patients (aged 18e54 years).
Design: Observational, case-control pilot study.
Participants and Controls: Sixty symptomatic patients with MGD with no history of hypercholesterolemia and 63 controls without MGD and with no history of hypercholesterolemia, accrued from January 2011 to June 2012.
Interventions: Body mass index (BMI), fasting blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), glucose, and creatinine were measured. Z test or Student t test was used, when appropriate, to calculate differences between groups. Stepwise logistic regression models were used to calculate the estimates of odds ratios (ORs), considering MGD as the dependent variable and including sex, age, BMI, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, glucose, and creatinine as covariates.
Main Outcome Measures: Fasting blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL (milligrams/deciliter).
Results: Hypercholesterolemia was found in 35 cases (58.3%) and 4 controls (6.3%), a statistically significant difference (P<0.0001). Mean total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL were 210.84.4, 127.63.9, and 61.61.8 mg/dl, respectively, in cases and 162.93.1, 94.22.6, and 52.51.3 mg/dl, respectively, in controls. All differences were statistically significant (P0.0001). Stepwise logistic regression analysis, including sex, BMI, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and glucose as covariates, revealed that MGD was significantly associated with higher blood levels of total cholesterol (OR, 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04e1.09; Plt;0.001). Likewise, MGD was found to be significantly associated with increased blood levels of LDL (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04e1.09; Plt;0.001) and HDL (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.06e1.17; Plt;0.001).
Conclusions: The results suggest that young and middle-aged patients with MGD with no history of
hypercholesterolemia may have higher blood cholesterol levels than controls of similar age without MGD. If this
finding is confirmed by larger studies, MGD may become a marker of previously unknown hypercholesterolemia
and ophthalmologists may increase their role in the early detection of an important risk factor for cardiovascular
Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.
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