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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of socioeconomic deprivation on cornea graft survival in the United Kingdom. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: All the recipients (n = 13,644) undergoing their first penetrating keratoplasty (PK) registered on the United Kingdom Transplant Registry between April 1999 and March 2011 were included. METHODS: Data of patients' demographic details, indications, graft size, corneal vascularization, surgical complication, rejection episodes, and postoperative medication were collected at the time of surgery and 1, 2, and 5 years postoperatively. Patients with endophthalmitis were excluded from the study. Patients' home postcodes were used to determine the socioeconomic status using a well-validated deprivation index in the United Kingdom: A Classification of Residential Neighborhoods (ACORN). Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to evaluate the influence of ACORN categories on 5-year graft survival, and the Bonferroni method was used to adjust for multiple comparisons. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients' socioeconomic deprivation status and corneal graft failure. RESULTS: A total of 13,644 patients received their first PK during the study periods. A total of 1685 patients (13.36%) were lost to follow-up, leaving 11,821 patients (86.64%) for analysis. A total of 138 of the 11,821 patients (1.17%) developed endophthalmitis. The risk of graft failure within 5 years for the patients classified as hard-pressed was 1.3 times that of the least deprived (hazard ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.5; P = 0.003) after adjusting for confounding factors and indications. There were no statistically significant differences between the causes of graft failure and the level of deprivation (P = 0.14). CONCLUSIONS: Patients classified as hard-pressed had an increased risk of graft failure within 5 years compared with the least deprived patients.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2436 - 2441


Corneal Diseases, Female, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Humans, Keratoplasty, Penetrating, Male, Middle Aged, Registries, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Social Class, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom