To characterize the central corneal thickness (CCT) of Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino), Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American patients in a multiethnic glaucoma practice.
Retrospective study (chart review).
Glaucomatous (n = 600) and nonglaucomatous (n = 201) eyes of 801 patients examined in a San Francisco glaucoma clinic from June 2002 to April 2004 who met inclusion criteria were included in the study. The 6 racial (ethnic) groups represented in the study were Caucasian (n = 186, 23.2%), Chinese (n = 157, 19.6%), Japanese (n = 121, 15.1%), Hispanic (n = 116, 14.5%), Filipino (n = 114, 14.2%), and African American (n = 107, 13.4%).
Central corneal thickness was measured by means of ultrasound pachymetry in Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino), Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American participants with glaucomatous and normal eyes. The relationship between CCT and race was investigated using multivariate regression analyses, controlling for confounders. One eye of each of 801 participants was included for analysis.
Correlation of mean CCT with race, glaucoma diagnosis, age, spherical equivalent, gender, and history of ocular surgery.
The mean CCT of all participants was 542.9 mum. Central corneal thicknesses of Chinese (555.6 microm), Caucasian (550.4 microm), Filipino (550.6 microm), and Hispanic (548.1 microm) participants did not significantly differ. The CCT of Japanese participants (531.7 microm) was significantly less than that of Caucasians, Chinese, Filipinos, and Hispanics (all, P< or =0.001) and greater than that of African Americans (P = 0.03). African Americans had a CCT (521.0.0 microm) less than that of all races (P< or =0.05). Glaucoma suspects and patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG), primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEX), and chronic angle-closure glaucoma (CACG) had corneas significantly thinner than those of normal participants (P< or =0.004), whereas ocular hypertensives had significantly thicker corneas (P<0.0001). Among all participants, decreasing values of CCT were significantly related to older age (P<0.01). Less negative or more positive refractive errors, gender, and history of ocular surgery were not associated with changes in CCT (P = 0.38, P = 0.50, and P = 0.97, respectively).
Studies examining individual Asian subpopulations in isolation suggest that differences in CCT may exist among different Asian groups. The results of this study indicate that CCT does, in fact, vary among Asian subpopulations; Japanese have thinner corneas than Chinese and Filipinos. Caucasians, Chinese, Hispanics, and Filipinos have comparable CCT measurements, whereas the corneas of African Americans are significantly thinner. Additionally, older individuals; glaucoma suspects; and participants with NTG, POAG, PEX, and CACG have thinner corneas. Ocular hypertensives, however, have thicker corneas.