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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Dec;46(12):4450-60.

Refractive error, ocular biometry, and lens opalescence in an adult population: the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.



To characterize age- and gender-related differences in refractive error, ocular biometry, and lens opalescence (NOP) in a population-based sample of adult Latinos. Also assessed were the determinants of age-related refractive differences.


Participants in the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES), a population-based study of Latinos aged 40 years and more, underwent an ophthalmic examination, including ultrasonic measurements of axial length (AL), vitreous chamber depth (VCD), anterior chamber depth (ACD), lens thickness (LT), and noncycloplegic automated and subjective refraction. Corneal curvature/power (CP) was measured using an autorefractor. NOP was graded at the slit lamp by an ophthalmologist using the Lens Opacity Classification System II. Age- and gender-related differences were calculated. Multiple regression models were used to identify the determinants of age-related refractive differences.


Of the 6357 LALES participants, 5588 phakic individuals with biometric data were included in this analysis. Older individuals had shallower ACDs, thicker lenses, more NOP, and more hyperopia compared to younger individuals (P < 0.001). There was no age-related difference in AL (P > or = 0.05). Women had significantly shorter AL, shallower ACD and VCD, than did men (P < or = 0.01). The strongest determinants of refractive error were AL (primarily VCD) and CP. NOP was a small but significant determinant of refractive error in older individuals.


Age- and gender-related differences in ocular biometric, refractive error, and NOP measurements are present in adult Latinos. While the relative contribution of NOP in determining refractive error is small, it is greater in older persons compared to younger individuals.

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