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Chalazion: racial risk factors for formation, recurrence, and surgical intervention.

OBJECTIVE: An association between race and formation of chalazion has yet to be objectively established. This study investigates race as a risk factor for chalazion and chalazion surgery. Understanding racial risk factors in formation of chalazion, recurrent chalazion, and chalazion requiring surgery (often with general anesthesia in children) informs decisions regarding eyelid hygiene, early topical medical therapy, and aggressiveness with oral antibiotic therapy for coexisting conditions such as blepharitis.

METHODS: Demographic data was collected for all pediatric visits to the University of Wisconsin-Madison ophthalmology department from 2012-2019. Retrospective chart review was performed for the subset with chalazion.

RESULTS: Of 28 433 minors, 584 had 1088 chalazia, a 2% overall rate. Chalazion was seen in 1.8% of non-Hispanic/Latino participants and 3.8% of Hispanic/Latino participants (p value <0.0001). Chalazion was seen in 1.7% of white participants, compared to 4.3% of American Indian or Alaska Native participants (p value <0.0001) and 4.0% of Asian participants (p value <0.0001). More than one chalazion was recorded in 31% of subjects without coexisting meibomian gland disease, blepharitis, or marginal keratitis, and in 56% (p < 0.0001) with one of these conditions. Repeated diagnoses of chalazion on separate encounters were seen in 17% without these conditions and in 33% (p < 0.0001) with one of these conditions.

CONCLUSION: Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Asian participants developed chalazion at a rate higher than other racial/ethnic groups, whereas patients with meibomian gland disease or blepharitis are especially at risk for developing multiple chalazia on separate encounters. No group was more likely to require surgical intervention than any other.

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