Vernal keratoconjunctivitis in school children in Rwanda and its association with socio-economic status: a population-based survey

S De Smedt, J Nkurikiye, Y Fonteyne, A Hogewoning, M Van Esbroeck, D De Bacquer, S Tuft, C Gilbert, J Delanghe, P Kestelyn

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

    Abstract

    Abstract. Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is an allergic eye disease and an important cause of hospital referral among children in Africa and Asia. Hospital-based studies have suggested a role for parasites in its pathogenesis. To determine the prevalence and risk factors for VKC in Central Africa, we conducted a nested population-based case control study in Rwanda, involving randomly selected primary schools from different environments (rural/urban) and climate. A prevalence of VKC of 4.0% (95% confidence interval 3.3-4.7%) was found among 3,041 children studied (participation rate 94.7%). The intestinal parasitic burden was not related to VKC. Besides hot dry climate (odds ratio [OR] = 1.5, P = 0.05) and male gender (OR = 1.7, P = 0.005), multivariate analysis identified higher economic status as a risk for VKC (OR = 1.4, P = 0.005). The effect on VKC of higher economic status appears not to act through differences in parasitic intestinal load.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
    Volume85
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)711-717
    Number of pages7
    ISSN0002-9637
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Parasitic diseases
    • Eye diseases
    • Vernal
    • Keratoconjunctivitis
    • Prevalence
    • Schoolchildren
    • Risk factors
    • Associations
    • Socioeconomic status
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Genetic predisposition to disease
    • Climate
    • Antibodies
    • Strongyloides
    • Asthma
    • Rwanda
    • Africa-Central

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