The prevalence of Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO) varies widely in different ethnic groups. Indians have been reported to have a lower prevalence of Graves’ ophthalmopathy as compared to Caucasians of European origin, but data are sparse and inconclusive. We studied the prevalence, clinical features and association of GO in Indian patients with Graves’ disease attending a referral centre in north India.
A prospective study was conducted on 235 consecutive newly referred north Indian patients with Graves’ disease presenting to a tertiary care centre in north India. All patients underwent a comprehensive ophthalmological examination as per the European Group on Graves’ Orbitopathy (EUGOGO) recommendations.
GO was diagnosed in 65 patients (prevalence 28%; 95% confidence interval 22-33%). The prevalence was similar in males (28%) and females (27%). It was mild in 83 per cent, moderate-severe in 15 per cent and sight-threatening in only 2 per cent of cases. Ophthalmopathy was clinically active in only two (3%) cases. Upper eyelid retraction was the most common manifestation (83%), followed by exophthalmos (75%). Extra-ocular muscle involvement (5%) and optic nerve dysfunction (2%) were uncommon. The risk of GO was 3.9- fold (95% confidence interval 1.1-13.6) higher in smokers compared to non-smokers. However, severity of disease in smokers was similar to non-smokers. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, GO was associated only with high thyrotropin receptor antibody titres and current smoking.