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V. Malhotra, N. M. Radcliffe, E. P. Farris; Hispanic Patients Followed for a Glaucoma Diagnosis Have a Central Corneal Thickness Intermediate Between Whites and Blacks. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5445.
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Because prior studies examining differences in central corneal thickness between ethnic groups have been inconclusive or have extrapolated conclusions based on different studies, we sought to examine Central Corneal Thickness (CCT) measurements among black, white, and Hispanic patients in a single large multiethnic glaucoma clinic.
Retrospective chart review of 540 patients managed at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York City. Patients were classified as open angle glaucoma, glaucoma suspect, or ocular hypertensive. Race was self-reported as white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. Central corneal thickness was measured by a single operator using an ultrasonic pachymeter.
The mean age of our sample was 62.2 ± 14.8. 339 patients (67.8%) were female. Central corneal thickness was greatest in ocular hypertensives (N = 43, mean CCT = 569), followed by glaucoma suspects (N = 265, mean CCT = 552), and then patients with glaucoma (N = 232, mean CCT = 541; P< 0.001, all pairwise-comparisons being significant). With respect to race, white patients had the thickest corneas (N = 124, mean = 562), followed by Hispanic patients (N = 165, mean = 550) and then black patients (N = 231, mean = 541; P< 0.05, all pairwise-comparisons being significant). The CCT of Asians (N = 20, mean CCT = 555) was not significantly different from Hispanics (p > 0.54) , blacks (p > 0.11), or whites (p > 0.50). There were no significant age differences between black (63.2 ± 15), white (61.6 ± 14), or Hispanic (61.8 ± 14) patients (P > 0.3), suggesting that differences in CCT between these groups cannot be explained by age.
Through our study of a large multiethnic glaucoma clinic population, we found that Hispanic patients have CCT values that are significantly thicker than black patients and yet significantly thinner than white patients.
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