International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 2611–2620 | Cite as

Diabetes mellitus is associated with dry eye syndrome: a meta-analysis

  • Tae Keun YooEmail author
  • Ein Oh
Original Paper



Dry eye is the most common eye disorder of tears and ocular surface. However, the extent to which diabetes mellitus may confer risk of dry eye remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis that synthesizes the association between diabetes mellitus and dry eye.


Case–control studies were selected from the Medline, Embase, Cochrane database from January 2000 to March 2018. Two reviewers screened potential studies, and eligible studies were included according to keywords and predefined criteria. We calculated the overall risk estimates by using a fixed-effect model or a random-effects model in relation to heterogeneity.


A total of four studies were included in our meta-analysis consisting of 2,504,794 persons. Our study showed a significant association between diabetes mellitus and the risk of dry eye syndrome (OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.08–1.57; P value = 0.006). However, the heterogeneity was observed (P value < 0.001, I2 = 95.2%).


Our meta-analysis suggests that diabetes mellitus has a significant association with the risk of dry eye. However, this result is limited by heterogeneity. Further prospective and concise studies are needed to confirm the association between diabetes mellitus and dry eye.


Dry eye Diabetes mellitus Observational study Meta-analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyAerospace Medical Center, Republic of Korea Air ForceCheongjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineSeoul Women’s HospitalBucheonSouth Korea

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