How many Europeans are affected by VKC?

September 1, 2008

The prevalence of vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) in Europe is 3.2 per 10000 inhabitants, according to a study published in the August 2008 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

The prevalence of vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) in Europe is 3.2 per 10000 inhabitants, according to a study published in the August 2008 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Dominique Brémond-Gignac of the Service d’Ophtalmologie, APHP, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France and colleagues sent a survey to 3003 ophthalmologists across six countries with, cumulatively, 151.9 million inhabitants. The team analyzed the results to extrapolate data for number of VKC cases across the 15 European Union member states (2002). The survey response rate was 29.5% (n=886).

The team estimated 1.16–10.55 inhabitants per 10000 in Western European to be affected by VKC, with 0.30–2.26 per 10000 to be affected by VKC with corneal complications. The prevalence of VKC was found to be lower than expected in most countries questioned, although in Italy the range was 2.4–27.8/10000. However, the ranges for VKC prevalence were 0.7–8.4, 1.2–8.7, 0.6–4.6, 0.7–3.3 and 0.3–1.9 in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Norway, respectively. The rate of VKC with corneal complications was 0.4–4.8, 0.3–2.4, 0.2–2.8, 0.2–1.6, 0.3–1.4 and 0.1–1.0 for each of these countries, respectively.

The team concluded that, based on the correlated and extrapolated data, it was most likely that VKC affects 3.2 of every 10000 people in Western Europe, and that the rate of corneal complications with the disease is 0.8 per 10000.