Although past research has shown an association between obesity and herpes simplex virus infection, the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK) recurrence has never been investigated. In this study, we included HSK patients who received oral valacyclovir as prophylactic treatment between January 2016 and January 2021. Recurrence, possible risk factors, and the time to recurrence were recorded during follow-ups. Among the 56 patients included in this study, recurrence was reported in 21 (37.5%) patients. The age at disease onset and mean follow-up time were not significantly different in the recurrence and non-recurrence groups. However, in the Cox regression analysis, BMI ≥ 24 kg/m2 was noted as the variable having significant correlation with recurrence (p = 0.01 in univariate analysis and p = 0.001 in multivariate analysis). In conclusion, overweight and obesity were revealed as risk factors for HSK recurrence in patients receiving long-term antiviral prophylaxis. Further studies are needed to determine the appropriate acyclovir concentrations in the blood or aqueous humour in order to achieve desirable prophylactic effects, especially in the overweight and obese patients.
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