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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Risk Factors for Refractive Errors in Preschool Children

AUTHOR:

D. S. C. LamD. S. P. FanS.-M. SawS.-J. Chew

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

1998

PUBLICATION:

Myopia Updates

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • This paper studied parental history, near work, and intraocular pressure as risk factors for eye size and refractive error in preschool children.

  • A total of 527 children in the age group of 3-6 years was selected on the assumption that genetic influences on eye growth would outweigh environmental factors at this stage.

  • The axial lengths of the children were found to be not correlated with parental myopia:

  • No parents were myopic 21.72 mm; one parent was myopic 21.85 mm; both parents were myopic 21.75 mm.

  • Near work was analyzed as the product of the working distance and time spent in various forms of near tasks.

  • Although near work increased from 1.0 to 1.5 h with age from 3 to 5 years, there was no significant correlation of near work with either refractive error or axial length.

  • The parental history of myopia and the amount of near work were thus not predictors of eye size in preschool children.

  • A high prevalence of against-the-rule astigmatism was found, which did not decline with age from 3 to 5 years. Intraocular pressure (IOP) increased with age.

  • Moreover, increasing IOP was correlated with increasing myopia.

  • Similarly, the parental history of myopia was predictive of higher IOP in the child: no myopic parents 13.54 mmHg, one myopic parent 14.11 mmHg, two myopic parents 14.43 mmHg.