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Smoking, alcohol consumption and corneal biomechanical parameters among Chinese university students



Smoking and alcohol consumption are important risk factors for several ocular disorders, but their effects on corneal biomechanics remain unclear. Our study aims to explore the association between smoking and alcohol consumption with corneal biomechanical parameters measured by Corvis-ST (CST) among university students.


A total of 1645 healthy university students from a university-based study were included, and all participants underwent corneal biomechanical parameters measurement by CST. We selected 10 reliable parameters that can reflect the corneal deformation response. All participants had a standardised interview to determine their smoking and alcohol consumption status.


The mean age of the participants was 19.0 ± 0.9 years, and 1132 (68.8%) were women. Smoking was significantly associated with stiffer corneas. Smokers showed significantly slower second applanation velocity (A2v) (β = 0.007 m/s, 95% confidence interval 0.001 to 0.014, P = 0.032) and lower integrated radius (IR) (β = −0.214 mm−1, 95% confidence interval −0.420 to −0.007, P = 0.043) than non-smokers after adjusting for age, gender, eye-rubbing, myopia, and body mass index (BMI). Smokers with BMI no less than 24.0 showed slower A2v and lower IR. Alcohol consumption and passive smoking were found no significant association with corneal biomechanics.


Smokers had less deformable corneas, especially those with BMI no less than 24.0. Our findings provide new evidence for the association between smoking and ocular disorders associated with corneal biomechanics like glaucoma.

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Fig. 1: The β coefficient of multivariate linear regression for the association between smoking frequency and corneal biomechanics.
Fig. 2: Three-dimensional bar charts showing the mean corneal biomechanical parameters stratified according to smoking status and BMI.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available upon reasonable request.


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This study is funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (82160204)

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Authors and Affiliations



The authors confirm contribution to the paper as follows. Study conception and design: CWP, GL. Data collection: MXL, DLL, ZJY, YZL, YJZ, YQ. Data analysis and interpretation: MXL, DLL, YZL; Paper writing: MXL, CWP. Final approval of paper: all authors.

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Correspondence to Gang Liang or Chen-Wei Pan.

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The authors declared no competing interests.

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Liu, MX., Li, DL., Yin, ZJ. et al. Smoking, alcohol consumption and corneal biomechanical parameters among Chinese university students. Eye (2023).

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