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Eyeglasses and risk of COVID-19 transmission—analysis of the Virus Watch Community Cohort study

Navaratnam, Annalan Md; O'Callaghan, Christopher; Beale, Sarah; Nguyen, Vincent; Aryee, Anna; Braithwaite, Isobel; Byrne, Thomas E; ... Virus Watch Collaborative; + view all (2024) Eyeglasses and risk of COVID-19 transmission—analysis of the Virus Watch Community Cohort study. International Journal of Infectious Diseases , 139 pp. 28-33. 10.1016/j.ijid.2023.10.021. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The importance of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via the eyes is unknown with previous studies mainly focusing on protective eyewear in healthcare settings. METHODS: Participants from the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study responded to a questionnaire on the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Infection was confirmed through data linkage, self-reported positive results, and, for a subgroup, monthly capillary antibody testing. Multivariable logistic regression models, controlling for age, sex, income and occupation, were used to identify odds of infection depending on frequency and purpose of eyeglasses or contact lenses use. RESULTS: 19,166 participants responded to the questionnaire, with 13,681 (71.3%, CI 70.7-72.0) reporting they wore eyeglasses. Multivariable logistic regression model showed 15% lower odds of infection for those who reported using eyeglasses always for general use (OR 0.85, 95% 0.77-0.95, p = 0.002) compared to those who never wore eyeglasses. The protective effect was reduced for those who said wearing eyeglasses interfered with mask wearing and absent for contact lens wearers. CONCLUSION: People who wear eyeglasses have a moderate reduction in risk of COVID-19 infection highlighting eye protection may make a valuable contribution to the reduction of transmission in community and healthcare settings.

Type: Article
Title: Eyeglasses and risk of COVID-19 transmission—analysis of the Virus Watch Community Cohort study
Location: Canada
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2023.10.021
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2023.10.021
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of International Society for Infectious Diseases. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Communicable disease, Infection control, Public health, respiratory tract infections
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > Infectious Disease Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10184476
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