Androgen deficiency and dry eye syndrome in the aging male

Patrick M. Azcarate, Vincent D. Venincasa, William Feuer, Frank Stanczyk, Andrew V. Schally, Anat Galor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose. To evaluate the relationship between androgen levels and subjective and objective measures of dry eye syndrome (DES). Methods. A total of 263 male patients from the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center eye clinic aged ≥50 were recruited for this prospective cross-sectional study. Patients completed Dry Eye Questionnaire 5, underwent tear film evaluation, and had serum androgen levels measured. The correlations between androgen levels, DES composite scores, DES symptoms, and global, lipid, and aqueous tear film parameters were evaluated. Results. Two hundred sixty-three patients with a mean age of 69 (50-95) were examined. There was no linear association between composite DES scores (generated using latent class analysis) and androgen levels. However, eyes with high DES scores (0.95-1.0) had higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (P = 0.03) and lower levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) (P = 0.02), androstenedione (A) (P = 0.02), and androstane-3α, 17β-diol glucuronide (P = 0.03) compared to eyes with intermediate (0.05-0.95) or low (0-0.05) scores. There were no strong correlations between tear film measures and androgen levels. Regarding global parameters, a weak inverse correlation was found between corneal staining and A (r = -0.17, P = 0.009). For lipid parameters, a weak correlation existed between tear breakup time (TBUT) and A (r = 0.15, P = 0.02). When considering aqueous and lipid deficiency independently, the association between TBUT and A existed only with aqueous tear deficiency (r = 0.66, P = 0.002). Regarding aqueous parameters, a weak correlation existed between Schirmer test and DHEAS (r = 0.13, P = 0.047) and A (r = 0.21, P = 0.001). Conclusions. There was a weak correlation between higher levels of androstenedione and healthier global, lipid, and aqueous tear film parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5046-5053
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 3 2014


  • Androgens
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Meibomian gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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