Factors associated with macular thickness in the COMET myopic cohort

Elise Harb, Leslie Hyman, Melissa Fazzari, Jane Gwiazda, Wendy Marsh-Tootle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


PURPOSE.: To determine whether macular thickness is associated with ethnicity, gender, axial length (AL), and severity of myopia in a cohort of young adults from the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET). METHODS.: Eleven years after their baseline visit, 387/469 (83%) subjects returned for their annual visit. In addition to the protocol-specific measures of spherical equivalent refractive error (SER) and AL, high-resolution macular imaging also was performed with optical coherence tomography (RTVue). From these scans, full-thickness values for the central (1 mm), parafoveal (1 to 3 mm), and perifoveal (3 to 5 mm) annular regions were calculated. Gender, ethnicity, AL, and SER were examined for associations with macular thickness using univariate and multivariable linear regression analyses. RESULTS.: In the 377 subjects with usable data (mean age = 21.0 ± 1.3 years), the mean SER ± SD was-5.0 ± 1.9 D and mean AL was 25.4 ± 0.9 mm. Mean foveal thickness was 252.0 ± 20.1 μm in the center, 315.6 ± 14.0 μm in the parafovea, and 284.4 ± 12.9 μm in the perifovea. In the best-fit multivariable model that adjusted for gender, ethnicity, and AL, females had significantly thinner maculas than males for all three regions (p < 0.0001), with the largest difference in the center (12.8 μm, 95% confidence interval: 9.2 to 16.4). The effect of ethnicity was strongest in the central fovea, with African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and mixed ethnic groups having thinner maculas than whites (all p values < 0.005). Increased AL was significantly associated with slightly thicker central foveas (p = 0.001) and thinner parafoveal (p = 0.02) and perifoveal (p < 0.0001) regions. CONCLUSIONS.: In this ethnically diverse cohort of moderate and high myopes, females and African-Americans were found to have the thinnest central foveas. Whether such thinning in the macula as a young adult is a risk factor for future disease remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-631
Number of pages12
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Myopia
  • axial length
  • fovea
  • macula
  • optical coherence tomography
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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