May 2006
Volume 47, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2006
Near–Work and Outdoor Activities and the Prevalence of Myopia in Australian School Students Aged 12–13 Years: The Sydney Myopia Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • K.A. Rose
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    School of Applied Vision Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences,
  • J. Ip
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute,
  • D. Robaei
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute,
  • S.C. Huynh
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute,
  • A. Kifley
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute,
  • W. Smith
    Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • I.G. Morgan
    Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • P. Mitchell
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute,
  • The Sydney Myopia Study
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Sydney Childhood Eye Study
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  K.A. Rose, None; J. Ip, None; D. Robaei, None; S.C. Huynh, None; A. Kifley, None; W. Smith, None; I.G. Morgan, None; P. Mitchell, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Australian NHMRC 253732, Vision Cooperative Research Centre
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2006, Vol.47, 5453. doi:
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      K.A. Rose, J. Ip, D. Robaei, S.C. Huynh, A. Kifley, W. Smith, I.G. Morgan, P. Mitchell, The Sydney Myopia Study, Sydney Childhood Eye Study; Near–Work and Outdoor Activities and the Prevalence of Myopia in Australian School Students Aged 12–13 Years: The Sydney Myopia Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5453.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: : To assess associations between near–work and outdoor activities and refractive status in 12–year old Australian students.

Methods: : The Sydney Myopia Study randomly selected 22 secondary schools, stratified by socio–economic status. All Year 7 students were invited to participate. Cycloplegic autorefraction was performed. Parents and students completed separate questionnaires on near work and outdoor activities outside school hours. Myopia was defined as spherical equivalent ≤ –0.5D in at least one eye.

Results: : Of the 2367 students who participated (75.3% response rate), 2,000 are included in this analysis. Myopia prevalence was 12.7% (95% CI 11.2%–14.2%) in the overall sample, 5.4% (CI 3.8%–6.9%) in students with European Caucasian parents and 39.8% (CI 33.8%–45.7%) in those with East Asian parents. Students of East Asian origin spent significantly more time on near–work (4.4h/day, CI 4.2–4.6) and less time on outdoor leisure activity (1.2h/day, CI 1.1–1.4) than Caucasian children (3.5 h/day, CI 3.4–3.6 for near work; 1.8 h/day, CI 1.8–1.9 outdoors). The average time spent on near–work increased from 3.5 to 3.7 and to 4.0 h/day for children with none, one or two myopic parents, but the number of hours spent outdoors was not significantly different across parental myopia groups after adjusting for gender and ethnicity (p(trend)= 0.13). Hours spent on near–work was associated with an increased likelihood of myopia (OR 1.13, CI 1.03–1.23 per hour, after adjusting for gender and ethnicity, time spent outdoors was associated with a decreased likelihood of myopia (OR 0.77, CI 0.66–0.91). After further adjusting for parental myopia, the association between myopia and time spent outdoors remained significant (OR 0.78, CI 0.63–0.96), but the association between myopia and near–work was not (OR 1.10, CI 0.96–1.20).

Conclusions: : The prevalence of myopia in Sydney was lower than in age–matched peers in urban East Asia. Parental myopia was positively associated with near–work, which was in turn positively associated with student myopia. Outdoor activity was negatively associated with myopia.

Keywords: myopia • refractive error development • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment 
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