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Differences in ocular biometrics and aqueous humour dynamics between Chinese and Caucasian adults
  1. Shan Fan1,
  2. Tao Guo2,
  3. Baojiang Chen3,
  4. Junqun Xiong3,
  5. Shane Havens1,
  6. Vikas Gulati1,
  7. Carol B Toris1
  1. 1 Ophthalmology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  2. 2 Ophthalmology, Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  3. 3 Department of Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Austin, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carol B Toris, Ophthalmology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA; ctoris{at}


Background Glaucoma prevalence and subtype profile vary across different racial and ethnic groups. This study provides a comparative evaluation of differences in aqueous humour dynamics (AHD) and ocular biometrics in healthy Chinese and Caucasian adults of two different age groups.

Methods Data from two independent studies with identical designs were compared. Cohorts included young adults (20–30 years old, 32 Chinese and 39 Caucasians) and older adults (>50 years old, 37 Chinese and 46 Caucasians). Parameters of AHD and ocular biometrics were evaluated. Group comparisons were made by generalised estimating equation methods.

Results Differences in young adult Caucasians compared with similarly aged Chinese were thinner central cornea (−29.27 µm, p<0.001), lower intraocular pressure (IOP) (−2.33 mm Hg, p<0.001), larger anterior chamber volume (ACV) (28.78 µL, p<0.001) and faster uveoscleral outflow rate (Fu) (0.82 µL/min, p<0.001). Differences in older adult Caucasians compared with similarly aged Chinese were slower aqueous flow rate (Fa) (−0.28 µL/min, p=0.042), lower IOP (−1.97 mm Hg, p<0.001) and larger ACV (33.15 µL, p<0.001). Considering all subjects together by race, Caucasian subjects had slower Fa (−0.22 µL/min, p=0.035), thinner corneas (−0.52 µm, p=0.003), lower IOP (−2.11 mm Hg, p<0.001), higher ACV (30.39 µL, p<0.001) and faster Fu (0.63 µL/min, p<0.001).

Conclusion Differences in AHD and biometrics between Caucasian and Chinese adults include larger ACVs which may contribute to the wider angles reported in Caucasians, and slower Fa rates coupled with faster Fu rates which may contribute to their lower IOP and lower overall risk of glaucoma.

  • intraocular pressure
  • physiology
  • glaucoma
  • ciliary body
  • anterior chamber

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  • Contributors CBT directed the study and edited the manuscript. SF taught the coinvestigators how to make the measurements and wrote the manuscript. BC and JX analysed the data and conducted the statistical analyses. TG recruited the subjects, performed the eye exams and collected the data in China. VG recruited the subjects and performed the eye exams in Nebraska, as well as interpreted the statistical tests.

  • Funding This work was supported by an unrestricted departmental grant (UNMC) from Research to Prevent Blindness.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Study approval was obtained from the research ethics committees at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University. Written informed consent was obtained from each volunteer before the start of any study-related activity.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data obtained in this study are available to other investigators, scientists and doctors upon request.

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