Date of Award

2-23-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

M. Bruce Shields

Abstract

To evaluate mean central corneal thickness in a Puerto Rican population and to compare our findings to published mean central corneal thicknesses of Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American populations in the United States. Volunteers at the Centro Médico, San Juan, Puerto Rico completed a survey and participated in an eye exam, which included measurement of intraocular pressure and central corneal thickness. Of 588 Puerto Rican participants, the mean central corneal thickness was 541 ± 33 μm, which is significantly thinner than published values in Caucasian populations (P<.002) and of Hispanic populations (P<.03) but thicker than published values for African Americans (P<.05). Among ethnic subgroups in Puerto Rico, no significant differences in mean central corneal thickness were observed. In this Puerto Rican population, the mean observed central corneal thickness was thicker than published means of African Americans, but thinner than those of Caucasian and other Hispanic populations within the United States. This finding will help clinicians to improve diagnosis and management of glaucoma in this population. It may also reflect an increased risk for disease progression and may indicate a need for earlier, more aggressive screening and management among these individuals.

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