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Laura Cowen, William R. Bobier; The Pattern of Astigmatism in a Canadian Preschool Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(10):4593-4600. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0730.
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purpose. To measure magnitude, type, and central tendency of astigmatism found in a county-wide population of Canadian preschool children (mean age, 48.1 months).
methods. Noncycloplegic autorefractive measures were taken in 1179 children attending a preschool health fair operated by their county board of health. Spherocylinder measures were transformed into three independent components.
results. The equivalent sphere showed considerable variation between retinoscopy and autorefraction that was attributed to the variable overaccommodation induced by the autorefractor. Astigmatic components were not affected. Small discrepancies between the two techniques were similar to those in adults and were not of sufficient magnitude to affect validity. With-the-rule (WTR) astigmatism of at least 0.25 D was the most frequent form (45%) followed by against-the-rule (ATR; 40%) and oblique (15%). The 95th percentile for cylinder magnitude was found at 1.25 D. Astigmatisms beyond this value were predominately WTR. The mean (negative) cylinder magnitude was 0.08 Dx 015°.
conclusions. When spherocylinder values are transformed into a mathematical continuum rather than WTR and ATR classifications, the true central tendency of the population is better defined and is close to zero. Astigmatisms of more than 1.25 D in the preschool child exceed the 95th percentile in this population and were more frequently WTR.
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