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Sien Jongenelen, Jos J Rozema, Marie-Jose B R Tassignon, EVICR.net, Project Gullstrand Study Group; Distribution of the lens power in vivo as a function of age. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2135.
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Several in vitro studies suggested that after an age-related decrease, crystalline lens power tends to increase again in older age group. We intend to verify whether this is also the case in vivo by studying the distribution of crystalline lens power in a European population for different age-groups and to study its relationship with biometric parameters.
Data were obtained though Project Gullstrand, a multicenter population study performed in 6 different European countries that collected data from phakic participants between 20 and 85 years of age. Both eyes were measured but only data of one randomly selected eye was used. Lens power is calculated using the modified Bennett- Rabbets method, using biometry data from the autorefractometer, Oculus Pentacam and Haag-Streit Lenstar (or validated equivalent devices).
The study included 1137 Caucasian subjects (507 men, 630 women) with a mean age of 44 years (20.1 - 82.8). Median lens power is 23.34D (Q1 21.96D, Q3 24.7D). The histograms of the different age-groups (binned per 5 years of age and a last bin of >70 years) showed non-Gaussian distributions that are skewed towards lower lens powers. Comparison of the lens power medians for all age categories showed a statistically significant decrease as a function of age, with a steeper rate of decrease for older ages. The correlation of lens power with the different refractive components is significant for axial length (Pearson r = -0.507, p < 0.001) and anterior chamber depth (r = -0.175, p < 0.001), and not significant correlated with corneal power and spherical equivalent (both: p > 0.05). Similar correlations are seen if considered separately per age group. Statistically significant differences in lens power are also seen between men and women (22.59D (Q1 21.26D, Q3 23.91D) and 23.83D (Q1 22.55D, Q3 25.28D) respectively), both for the entire population as per age group.
Crystalline lens power decreases monotonously with age, with a steeper decline towards older age categories. This is in contrast with earlier in-vitro reports that lens power stabilizes or even increases again after the age of 60. Lens power is negatively correlated with axial length and anterior chamber depth. A difference between the two sexes is observed, with a higher lens power for women.
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