International ophthalmology 2017 07 07() doi 10.1007/s10792-017-0633-0
To perform a systematic review of the literature examining the association between meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dyslipidemia.
A systematic literature search was performed using the Medline database. A total of four studies directly relevant to our search are reviewed here.
In a series of four studies, all but one found that the prevalence of dyslipidemia was significantly higher in those with MGD compared to those without. Factors such as age, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides demonstrated a significant association whereas sex, BMI, serum creatinine, and serum glucose did not. Various subsets within the MGD group, such as males between the ages of 24-64, were found to have higher total cholesterol levels compared to controls, highlighting the association of dyslipidemia with sex and age.
While each study carried its own limitations preventing a causal relationship from being established, it is evident that a strong positive correlation exists between dyslipidemia and MGD. As such, eye care practitioners, through the detection of MGD, may be identifying patients with dyslipidemia who were previously believed to have normal serum lipid profiles. This may imply that eye care providers have a role in detecting a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, if prospective studies can demonstrate a temporal relationship with MGD preceding dyslipidemia, clinicians could consider lipid-lowering agents as management for both conditions.