Utah Project on Exfoliation Syndrome (UPEXS): Insight Into Systemic Diseases Associated With Exfoliation Syndrome

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The Utah Project on Exfoliation Syndrome (UPEXS) study was created to investigate the association between exfoliation syndrome (XFS) and systemic disorders or pathologies. The study utilizes the resources of the Utah Population Database, which is linked to the Utah genealogy, a compilation of large pedigrees extending back 3 to ≥11 generations, representing most families in the state. These family members medical and health records are linked to vital records and can be used effectively to identify familial clustering of disorders, like XFS, with comorbid diseases or health-related data. There is growing evidence that XFS patients have an increased risk for systemic disorders that may reflect the systemic tissue involvement of this disease. Epidemiologic studies of individuals with XFS have reported an increased risk of various pathologies that have abnormalities in extracellular matrix metabolism and repair. For this reason, the UPEXS has focused on disorders that involve the extracellular matrix in general and elastin specifically, such as pelvic organ prolapse, atrial fibrillation, inguinal hernias, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this paper we present our results from the analysis of pelvic organ prolapse, as well as, preliminary data for atrial fibrillation.

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