Prevalence and clinical profile of keratoconus in patients presenting at a provincial hospital in KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa: A case study




Keratoconus, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, prevalence, central corneal thinning, corneal scarring


Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive, asymmetrical corneal disease, characterized by stromal thinning that leads to distortion, causing vision loss. The visual loss is secondary to corneal scarring, irregular astigmatism, and myopia. The prevalence of KC has been reported to differ in different parts of the world. The study aimed to determine the prevalence and profile of patients with KC presenting to a provincial hospital in KwaZulu‑Natal, South Africa. A retrospective study design was used to review 412 clinical records of patients attending the McCord Provincial Eye Hospital (MPEH) during a five‑year period (2016‑2020). Data on age, race, refraction, clinical profile, treatment plan, and diagnosis were ascertained. The prevalence of KC in MPEH was found to be 13.7% with a mean age of 24.7±7.94 years. Black African and females had a higher frequency of KC compared to males and other ethnic groups. Most of the patients presented with a severe stage of KC and referral was the most common management. Central corneal thinning and Munson's sign were the most prevalent clinical signs. There was no statistically significant difference between the worse and better eye when comparing the clinical signs. The prevalence and clinical profile of patients with KC in this study was similar to that reported by previous studies and more in Blacks and females. Population based epidemiological studies are needed to determine the prevalence of KC in South Africa to enable early clinical interventions.

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Author Biography

Rekha Hansraj, Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Science, University of KwaZulu‑Natal, Durban




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How to Cite

Gcabashe, N. M., Moodley , V. R., & Hansraj, R. (2023). Prevalence and clinical profile of keratoconus in patients presenting at a provincial hospital in KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa: A case study. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(11).



Original Articles