The association between epiblepharon and obesity: an experience at tertiary care center in Western Pennsylvania/North America

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Publication Title

International Ophthalmology


Purpose: Epiblepharon is a congenital eyelid anomaly that occurs most frequently in Asian children. Recent literature has identified an association between obesity and increased rates of epiblepharon among Asian children. The purpose of our study was to determine whether obesity was also associated with epiblepharon in a non-Asian population.

Methods: The medical records of all children with a diagnosis of epiblepharon seen in the oculoplastic clinic at a single institution over a 2-year period were reviewed and included all the Caucasian children with epiblepharon. The average body mass index was calculated for all patients with epiblepharon. The rate of obesity among these children was compared with the national rate of childhood obesity in the United States as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Results: Our study included 10 Caucasian children with epiblepharon. There were 8 girls and 2 boys. The rate of obesity among non-Asian children with epiblepharon was 40%, which is substantially higher than the average rate of obesity among children in the USA. One child was overweight.

Conclusions: This study suggests an association between obesity and epiblepharon in non-Asian children. Obesity likely contributes to anatomic variations in the midface and eyelids that can lead to the development of epiblepharon. Given the rising rates of childhood obesity, it is important to be aware of its association with epiblepharon in ethnic populations other than Asian.

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Publication Date

Spring 3-31-2021