Major international epidemiological studies have shown that the prevalence of DED ranges from 5% to 50% worldwide. The large variation in studies is attributed to heterogeneous patient cohort, inclusion criteria, diagnostic criteria, and study design. The condition is more prevalent in females than males, ranging from 1.33 to 1.74 times higher, and older adults are affected more than younger people. One report suggests that symptoms are reported in 6% of US women under 50 years and 10% of US women under 75 years, with an age-adjusted prevalence of 8% or 3.23 million US women over 50 years. Another study suggests the age-adjusted prevalence may be as high as 17% in women and 11% in men.
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