A number of studies have examined the association between vitamin D and dry eye disease in different populations, but findings are inconclusive. Herein, available observational studies were systematically reviewed to elucidate the overall relationship between vitamin D and dry eye disease among adult population.
PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar and ISI web of science databases were searched until January 2020 for studies assessing the association between vitamin D and dry eye disease. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale was used to examine the quality of each study.
A total of 14 studies out of 252 met the inclusion criteria and were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. Serum 25(OH) D3 was lower in dry eye disease subjects compared to healthy ones (WMD -5.93; 95 % CI, -7.47 to -4.40; P < 0.001) with evidence of significant heterogeneity (I2 = 94.6 % p < 0.001). Also, in final analysis, vitamin D correlated significantly with ocular surface disease index (Fisher's Z: -0.26; 95 % CI, -0.48 to -0.04; P = 0.018), with significant heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 59.3 %, P = 0.043).
It was found that serum vitamin D had a significantly lower level in dry eye disease patients, and correlated with ocular surface disease index but no other dry eye disease parameter. The findings add to the existing literature supporting the concept that nutrition especially vitamin D plays an important role in human eye health. Prospective studies are needed to confirm this relationship.