December 30, 2013
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Thicker irides associated with racial groups with high prevalence of primary angle-closure glaucoma

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Racial groups with a high prevalence of primary angle-closure glaucoma have thicker irides, according to a study.

Two-hundred and fifty-nine glaucoma patients with open angles and 177 patients with narrow angles who underwent anterior segment optical coherence tomography under dark conditions comprised the prospective study. The patients belonged to five different racial groups: African Americans, Caucasian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Chinese Americans and Filipino-Americans.

Chinese Americans had the highest mean value in nasal iris thickness at 750 and 2,000 µm measured from the scleral spurs amid the open-angle racial groups (P = .01 and P < .0001) and the highest mean value in nasal iris thickness at 2,000 µm measured from the scleral spur among the narrow-angle racial groups (P < .0001).

Caucasian Americans had the lowest mean value in nasal iris thickness at 750 µm measured from the scleral spur, whereas African Americans and Hispanic Americans both had the lowest mean values for temporal iris thickness measured at the same parameter.

Statistically significant difference (P = .0007) was noted between the open-angle and narrow-angle groups when iris thickness was adjusted for age, sex, pupil diameter, spherical equivalent and ethnicity.

“Our analysis of the open-angle population suggests that Chinese Americans inherently have thicker irides than the other racial groups,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.