The Effect of Gender on Visual Field Sensitivity: The Singapore Chinese Eye Study.
PURPOSE: Visual field (VF) sensitivity is known to be age-dependent, but there is a paucity of evidence on whether it is gender-dependent. We therefore investigated the effect of gender on VF sensitivity. METHODS: An observational study involving 491 adults from the population-based Singapore Chinese Eye Study (SCES). Study participants underwent a comprehensive and standardised ocular examination and VF assessment on the Humphrey Field Analyzer II (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA, USA). The effect of gender on the mean deviation (MD) and pattern standard deviation (PSD) was analysed with linear regression models. RESULTS: The mean age was 52.9 ± 5.9 years, and 229 (46.6%) participants were women. A total of 800 reliable VFs from 655 healthy eyes without visual impairment, glaucoma and significant cataract were included. The mean (± standard deviation) MD was -0.45 ± 1.01 dB in men, and -0.84 ± 1.20 dB in women. The MD [95% confidence interval] was 0.28 [-0.44 to -0.12] dB lower in females compared to males (P = 0.001) after adjusting for reliability indices, degree of lens opacity, and other potential confounders. The PSD was not significantly different between the genders. CONCLUSIONS: In the SCES, the population-average of the central VF sensitivity was significantly lower in women compared to men by a small amount (0.28 dB). This effect was observed in healthy eyes, and was not explained by multiple potential confounders. Hence, this likely represents a physiological gender-based difference that is unaccounted for in standard automated perimetry. Further studies in other populations would be needed to corroborate our findings.
Tan, NYQ; Tham, Y-C; Koh, V; Cheung, CY; Aung, T; Wong, TY; Cheng, C-Y
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