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T.Y. Toh, M.S. H. M. Liew, A.W. Hewitt, J.R. MacKinnon, J.L. Poulsen, T.D. Spector, C.E. Gilbert, J.E. Craig, D.A. Mackey, C.J. Hammond; High Heritability of Central Corneal Thickness – The Twin Eye Studies . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1093.
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Purpose: A classical twin study was performed to determine the heritability of central corneal thickness (CCT), an important predictor of glaucoma risk. Methods: The concordance of CCT between monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins was compared. 512 Twins (256 twin pairs; 131 MZ and 125 DZ) were recruited from 3 centres: the Twin Eye Study in Tasmania, the Brisbane Adolescent Twin Registry and the TwinsUK adult registry held at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. As part of a comprehensive ophthalmic evaluation, CCT was measured using ultrasound pachymetry. Modern genetic modelling techniques were used to determine heritability. Results: The mean age of subjects was 38 years (range 8–81). The mean CCT of all eyes examined was 544.5µm (95% confidence interval [CI]: 471.5–617.5). CCT measurements were highly correlated among MZ twins compared to DZ twins, with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.95 and 0.52, respectively, suggesting a strong genetic influence. A model of additive and unique environmental effects provided the best fit, yielding a heritability of 0.95 (95% CI 0.93–0.96) with the remaining variation being attributable to unique environmental factors. Conclusions: In this study of Australian and United Kingdom twins, we found that genetic factors are of major importance in CCT, with a heritability of 0.95.
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