Sex-related differences are present in the systemic and ocular blood flow. However, the cause of the sex-related differences has not been determined. We investigated the ocular blood flow, represented by the mean blur rate (MBR), on the optic nerve head (ONH) determined by laser speckle flowgraphy in 138 males (63.9 ± 8.9 years) and 194 females (63.5 ± 9.4 years). The correlations between the MBR on the ONH and the clinical data were determined. The overall ONH-MBR was significantly higher in females than males (P < 0.001). In addition, the levels of the hemoglobin and hematocrit were significantly lower in females than in males (P < 0.001). The ONH-MBR was negatively and significantly correlated with the levels of the hemoglobin and hematocrit (both, P < 0.001). Multiple regression analyses showed that the sex (β = 0.248, P < 0.001) was an independent factor correlated with the ONH-MBR when the clinical examination data were not included in the analyses. However, when the clinical examination data were included, the hemoglobin level (β = -0.295, P < 0.001) was an independent factor that contributed to the ONH-MBR but the sex was not. We conclude that the sex-related differences in the hemoglobin level and the negative correlation between hemoglobin and the ONH-MBR are the causes of the sex-related differences in the ONH-MBR.
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