Distribution of central corneal thickness and its association with ocular parameters in a large central European cohort: the Gutenberg health study

PLoS One. 2013 Aug 1;8(8):e66158. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066158. Print 2013.


Main objective: To evaluate the distribution of central corneal thickness (CCT) in a large German cohort and to analyse its relationship with intraocular pressure and further ocular factors.

Design: Population-based, prospective, cohort study.

Methods: The Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) cohort included 4,698 eligible enrollees of 5,000 subjects (age range 35-74 years) who participated in the survey from 2007 to 2008. All participants underwent an ophthalmological examination including slitlamp biomicroscopy, intraocular pressure measurement, central corneal thickness measurement, fundus examination, and were given a questionnaire regarding glaucoma history. Furthermore, all subjects underwent fundus photography and visual field testing using frequency doubling perimetry.

Results: Mean CCT was 557.3 ± 34.3 µm (male) and 551.6±35.2 µm in female subjects (Mean CCT from right and left eyes). Younger male participants (35-44 years) presented slightly thicker CCT than those older. We noted a significant CCT difference of 4 µm between right and left eyes, but a high correlation between eyes (Wilcoxon test for related samples: p<0.0001). Univariable linear regression stratified by gender showed that IOP was correlated with CCT (p<0.0001). A 10 µm increase in CCT led to an increase in IOP between 0.35-0.38 mm Hg, depending on the eye and gender. Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed correlations between gender, spherical equivalent (right eyes), and CCT (p<.0001 and p=0.03, respectively).

Conclusions: We observed positive correlations between CCT and IOP and gender. CCT was not correlated with age, contact lens wear, positive family history for glaucoma, lens status, or iris colour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cornea / cytology*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Corneal Pachymetry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution

Grant support

The Gutenberg Health Study is financed by the regional council of Rhineland-Palatine (“Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Innovation”, contract number AZ 961-386261/733), the research programmes “Wissen schafft Zukunft” and “Schwerpunkt Vaskuläre Prävention” of the University Medical Centre Mainz, Germany and its contract with Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany, and PHILIPS Medical Systems, including an unrestricted grant for the Gutenberg Health Study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.