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Br J Ophthalmol. 1987 Sep;71(9):694-7.

An association between 'desert lung' and cataract--a new syndrome.

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College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Sixteen cases of desert lung with cataracts were previously reported on, and an additional 14 cases have now been encountered from the same area of which 13 had cataracts. The association of cataract with desert lung was not commented on in the previous report, because it was thought to be coincidental. It now appears to be real rather than coincidental. Analysis of these 33 patients showed the following: none had significant clinical signs; x-ray findings were mainly those of micronodular miliary infiltrates; 88% were found to have cataracts; 85% were females. The frequency of cataract among patients over the age of 50 years coming to the hospital for eye problems was 26%. These figures showed a distinct relationship between desert lung and cataract in the Arabian desert. The causal relationship is not as yet clear, but 'tandoor' baking is suggested as the main factor.

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