Purpose: To evaluate the pseudoexfoliation (PEX) prevalence in the island of Crete (Greece).
Method: Organized visits to various villages, to examine a predetermined number of people born and living in these villages, in collaboration with the local birth register offices.
Results: PEX prevalence in Crete, in people aged 40 years and more, was found to be 16.1% (men: 21.3%, women: 12.6% - Prefecture of: Heraklion 11.5%, Chania 13.4%, Lasithi 16.9%, Rethymnon 27%). 28.8% of PEX-patients presented IOP > 21 mmHg. In unilateral PEX-patients, mean IOP of PEX-eyes was found to be 17.82 mmHg versus 15.6 mmHg in fellow eyes.
Conclusion: PEX prevalence was higher in men than in women and increases with age, as does bilaterality. A correlation between increased PEX prevalence and high altitude may exist. PEX is a risk factor for the development of IOP disturbances which seem to appear earlier in women.