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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Jan 27;56(2):1109-17. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15994.

Prevalence and racial differences in pterygium: a cross-sectional study in Han and Uygur adults in Xinjiang, China.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, Xin Jiang Uygur Municipal People's Hospital, Xinjiang, China.
Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, Institute of Basic Medical Science, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.



To understand the prevalence and associated risk factors of pterygium in Han and Uygur population in Xinjiang, China and to assess the racial differences.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in two rural and three urban regions of Xinjiang. A multistage and stratified sampling method was used to select representative samples. Risk factors associated with pterygium were screened in logistic regression models.


Among 4617 participants aged 30 years and older, 2452 were Han and 2165 were Uygur Nationality adults. The overall prevalence of pterygium was 11.95% (n = 546), with 4.27% (n = 197) were bilateral and 7.56% (n = 349) were unilateral. Multivariate analysis indicated that race, age, and rural residence were significantly associated with any pterygium (P < 0.001 for all). The prevalence of pterygium (P < 0.01) in Han subjects was higher than that of Uygur subjects. Both age and rural residence were associated with any pterygium in Han and Uygur. Low education level had significant positive association with pterygium in Han population (P < 0.001).


Pterygium affects approximately one-ninth of Han and Uygur population. Compared with Uygur, Han ethnicity is a significant risk factor of pterygium. Our results indicated a higher prevalence of pterygium in rural areas of Xinjiang, China compared with urban cities. Age increase was also associated with presence of pterygium. Strategies are warranted to prevent the serious effects caused by pterygium.


Han and Uygur population; prevalence; pterygium; risk factors

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