To examine the association between best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and subfoveal choroidal thickness.
The Beijing Eye Study 2011 included 3468 subjects with ages of 50+ years. The participants underwent an ophthalmologic examination including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography with enhanced depth imaging for measurement of choroidal thickness. BCVA was measured as logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution.
Of the 3468 participants, choroidal measurements were available for 3233 (93.2%) subjects. In multivariate analysis, better BCVA was significantly associated with thicker subfoveal choroid (P < 0.001) in general and a subfoveal choroid thicker than 30 μm (P < 0.001) in particular, after adjusting for younger age (P < 0.001), higher level of education (P < 0.001), taller body stature (P < 0.001), higher body mass index (P = 0.005), absence of glaucoma (P = 0.001), absence of diabetic retinopathy (P < 0.001), absence of late-stage age-related macular degeneration (P < 0.001), and axial length shorter than 26.0 mm (P < 0.001) (correlation coefficient r:0.56). If eyes with glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, late-stage age-related macular degeneration or myopic retinopathy were excluded, better BCVA was still significantly associated with thicker subfoveal choroid (P < 0.001) and subfoveal choroid thicker than 30 μm (P < 0.001) in multivariate analysis. In a reverse manner, thicker subfoveal choroid was associated with better BCVA (P < 0.001) after adjusting for younger age (P < 0.001), male gender (P < 0.001), longer axial length (P < 0.001), and higher corneal curvature radius (P < 0.001).
Better visual acuity is strongly associated with thicker subfoveal choroid independent of additional factors, such as age, axial length, education level, and major ocular diseases.