To evaluate the central corneal thickness (CCT) of Africans in a glaucoma practice in a university teaching hospital in West Nigeria, Africa, and compare results with similar studies carried out in African American and Afro-Caribbean populations.
CCT was measured by means of ultrasound pachymetry (pachymeter used was Micropach 200 P+ Pachymeter; Sonomed) in only African participants with either glaucomatous or healthy eyes. After instillation of topical anesthetic, 3 measurements of corneal thickness were taken, and the average thickness for each was calculated. The relationship between CCT and age was studied using correlation analyses and t tests. A total of 70 eyes were included for analysis.
The mean CCT of all participants was 532.00 μm. Glaucoma suspects and patients with glaucoma had corneas thinner than those of normal participants (527.36 and 536.91 μm, respectively); however, the difference was not significant (P = 0.296). Decreasing values of CCT were significantly related to older age (P = 0.002). Men had a significantly higher CCT than women (P = 0.035).
CCT values in African populations are less than those of whites. Decreasing values of CCT are significantly related to older age, and men have thicker corneas than women. There is a suggestion that CCT is lower in patients with glaucoma than in nonglaucomatous controls; however, the difference is not statistically significant. Comparing our results to other studies in literature, it seems that average CCT is similar between populations living in sub-Saharan Africa and African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans.
From the *Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom; and the †University Hospital Eye Unit, Choba, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Received for publication July 23, 2006; revision received January 10, 2007; accepted January 29, 2007.
Reprints: Karl Mercieca, 15 Maplewood 117 Nell Lane, Manchester M20 2DU, UK (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).