Send to

Choose Destination
Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2019 Apr 26:1-6. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2019.1607882. [Epub ahead of print]

Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Association Between Diabetes Mellitus and Dry Eye Disease.

Author information

a Department of Ophthalmology , University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill.



To examine the association between dry eye and diabetes mellitus among a large North Carolina patient population.


A retrospective cross-sectional study of patients seen within the University of North Carolina medical system between July 1, 2008, and September 1, 2017, was performed. De-identified medical records contained within the Carolina Data Warehouse of adult patients who have had an ocular evaluation were studied. Four categories of disease states were identified by ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Patients were grouped based on being diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease (ICD-9: 375.15, 370.33, and ICD-10: H04.12, H16.221), Diabetes Mellitus (ICD-9: 250.00-250.93 and ICD-10: E08-E11, E13), neither, or both diseases. Odds ratios of the association between diabetes and dry eye were calculated for the following racial/ethnic groups: Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black/African American, Asian, and Hispanic.


A total of 81,480 patients were included in the analysis; of those, 8978 patients had dry eye disease and 18,361 patients had diabetes. The remaining 54,141 patients had neither disease. Dry eye prevalence among patients with diabetes was 14.39% (95% CI: 13.89-14.91%) and 10.11% (95%CI: 9.88-10.35%) among patients without diabetes. The odds of a patient with diabetes having dry eye are 1.15 (95% CI: 1.09-1.21) times that of a patient without diabetes. Asian patients with diabetes demonstrated the highest odds of having dry eye at 1.49 (95% CI: 1.12-1.98).


Dry eye is common among patients with diabetes, and the association between these diseases is strongest among Asian patients. Race and ethnicity are important demographic factors that may guide providers in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye in the setting of diabetes.


Dry eye disease; North Carolina; United States; diabetes; racial minority

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center