Background: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is one of the key clinical features and possibly an early clinical presentation of Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). We explore DES prevalence and assess the likelihood of DES patients to develop SS in Taiwan through the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Methods: Through a cohort comparison study, longitudinal data from the NHIRD (2000 to 2008) in Taiwan was used to probe the prevalence of DES and the odds that DES patients would later develop SS. Results: The prevalence of DES in the present study is 4.87%. The incidence rates of developing SS were 4.8% for the DES group and 1.5% for comparison group. The median age and interquartile range of DES and comparison patients was 49.8 (10) and 48.7 (15) years old, respectively. The crude hazard ratio (with 95% confidence interval) for DES patients to develop SS was 3.13 (3.10–3.50) for the DES group, and the adjusted hazard ratio (with 95% confidence interval) was 3.64 (3.43–3.87). The observation period and interquartile range for DES and comparison patients to develop SS later were 1418 (781–2316) versus 1641 (971–2512) days respectively. Conclusions: DES patients carried a higher risk for developing SS (hazard ratio 3.13) and presented for SS 3.88 years earlier than comparison group patients in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7647-7655
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2015


  • Dry eye syndrome (DES)
  • National health insurance research database (NHIRD)
  • Prevalence
  • Sjögren’s syndrome (SS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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