Pachyvessels are pathologically dilated large choroidal vessels and are associated with the pathogenesis of several pachychoroid-related disorders, including central serous chorioretinopathy. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for pachyvessels in the Japanese population. We included 316 participants (aged ≥ 40 years) with normal right eyes. The presence of pachyvessels (vertical diameter > 300 µm, distance to the retinal pigment epithelium < 50 µm) was determined using 6 × 6 mm macular swept-source optical coherence tomography images, and associated risk factors were investigated. Subfoveal choroidal thickness was measured, and its associated risk factors investigated. The overall prevalence of pachychoroids was 9.5%. Regression analysis showed that a younger age, shorter axial length, male sex, and smoking were significantly associated with the presence of pachyvessels (p = 0.047; odds ratio [OR] 0.96 per year, p = 0.021; OR 0.61 per 1 mm, p = 0.012; OR 3.08 vs. female, and p = 0.011; OR 3.15 vs. non-smoker, respectively) and greater choroidal thickness (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.003, and p < 0.017, respectively). The results were consistent with other research findings which showed that pachychoroid-related disorders such as central serous chorioretinopathy were associated with younger age, male sex, shorter axial length, and smoking. Smoking may be associated with choroidal circulatory disturbance in the Japanese population.
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