To determine the demographic and refractive characteristics of excimer laser refractive surgery candidates in Iran.Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study between 2010 and 2014. All information was collected from 28 centers randomly selected from 12 provinces. Then, for each season of the year, one week was chosen through simple random selection, and within each week, 3 days were again chosen randomly. All excimer laser surgical procedures performed during these 3 days were identified by training staff, and data were extracted from patient charts.Results:
A total of 14,569 charts were reviewed; 67.5% of the subjects were female and the rest were male. Of the total surgeries, 18.6% had been done in 2010 which reached to 19.1% in 2014. The mean age of people receiving refractive surgery showed an upward trend (P<0.001) and female patients were significantly younger than male patients (P<0.001). The 25 to 39 years age group received the highest number of surgeries (31.9% of the total) and there was a significant association with gender (P<0.001). The most common refractive error was compound myopic astigmatism with a prevalence of 79.3%. In 2010, 33.3% of the performed surgeries were covered by insurance policies, and this decreased to 30.2% in 2014 (P<0.001).Conclusion:
Women with compound myopic astigmatism in the age range of 25 and 35 years are the most frequent users of excimer laser refractive surgery. Less than one-third of laser refractive surgeries are covered by insurance policies. Therefore, proper planning for improving services to this group must be given priority.