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Correlations Between Central Corneal Thickness and General Anthropometric Characteristics and Cardiovascular Parameters in a Large European Cohort From the Gutenberg Health Study

Elflein, Heike M. MD; Pfeiffer, Norbert MD; Hoffmann, Esther M. MD; Hoehn, René MD, FEBO; Kottler, Ulrike MD; Lorenz, Katrin MD, FEBO; Zwiener, Isabella PhD; Wild, Philipp S. MD, MSc; Mirshahi, Alireza MD, FEBO

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000068
Clinical Science

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between general anthropometric features and cardiovascular parameters and central corneal thickness (CCT) in an adult European cohort.

Methods: Analysis was based on a Gutenberg Health Study cohort that included 5000 subjects (2540 male, 2460 female), aged 35 to 74 years at enrollment. The participants underwent a standardized protocol with a comprehensive questionnaire; ophthalmic examination (slit-lamp biomicroscopy; autorefractometry; noncontact tonometry; fundus photography; CCT measurements (optical pachymetry); visual field testing; and a thorough general examination focused on cardiovascular parameters, psychosomatic evaluation, and laboratory tests including genetic analysis.

Results: Reliable CCT measurements were available for 4708 right eyes (OD, 94.2%), 4721 left eyes (OS, 94.4%), and both eyes (OU) in 4698 subjects (94.0%). The mean CCT was 555 ± 35 μm in men and 549 ± 35 μm in women. In multiple linear regression analysis, the CCT was associated with gender [P < 0.001 for OU], body height [in men, P = 0.007 for OD, P = 0.04 for OS; in women P < 0.001 for OU], and body mass index (P < 0.001 for OD, P = 0.001 for OS). In men only, the CCT correlated with the body weight [P = 0.024 (OD), P = 0.048 (OS)] and smoking [P = 0.006 (OD), P < 0.001 (OS)]. No correlations were found between the CCT and dyslipidemia, diabetes, or hypertension.

Conclusions: The CCT was associated with male gender, body height, and body mass index in an adult white cohort. It correlated with body weight and nicotine abuse in men only. No associations were found between the CCT and dyslipidemia, diabetes, or hypertension.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

*Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany;

Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI), University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany; and

Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.

Reprints: Heike M. Elflein, Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Mainz, Langenbeckstr 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany (e-mail:

This project, the Gutenberg Health Study, is funded through the government of Rhineland-Palatine (“Stiftung Rheinland Pfalz für Innovation,” contract number AZ 961-386261/733), the research programs “Wissen schafft Zukunft” and “Schwerpunkt Vaskuläre Prävention” of the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany, and its contract with Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany, and Philips Medical Systems including an unrestricted grant for the Gutenberg Health Study. The sponsors and funding organizations played no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Presented at the German Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting 2011, Berlin, Germany.

The authors have no other funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Received July 24, 2013

Accepted December 11, 2013

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