September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Prevalence of refractive errors in a large German cohort of children and adolescents
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Heike Lange
    Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases -LIFE, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • Mandy Vogel
    Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases -LIFE, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • Arne Ohlendorf
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • Siegfried Wahl
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • Peter MH Wiedemann
    Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • Wieland Kiess
    Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases -LIFE, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    Centre of Paediatric Research, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • Franziska G Rauscher
    Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Heike Lange, None; Mandy Vogel, None; Arne Ohlendorf, Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH (E); Siegfried Wahl, Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH (E); Peter Wiedemann, None; Wieland Kiess, None; Franziska Rauscher, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  none
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 3974. doi:
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      Heike Lange, Mandy Vogel, Arne Ohlendorf, Siegfried Wahl, Peter MH Wiedemann, Wieland Kiess, Franziska G Rauscher; Prevalence of refractive errors in a large German cohort of children and adolescents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):3974.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : To investigate the prevalence of refractive errors in German children aged 2- 19 years old.

Methods : The Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases (LIFE) is a population-based, prospective, observational single-center study that investigates the development of children and adolescents in Germany. In a cohort of the study sample, the ocular status of urban preschool children or school children and adolescents was evaluated. Participants underwent a standardized protocol including questionnaires and an optometric examination. The examination included measurement of non-cycloplegic refractive errors, of the ocular dimensions of the eye using non-contact optical low-coherence reflectometry (Lenstar 900, Haag Streit, Könitz, Switzerland) and of the visual acuity. Refractive errors were determined using wavefront-based autorefraction (ZEISS i.Profiler plus, Carl Zeiss Vision GmbH, Aalen, Germany) with the following definitions: myopia < -0.5 diopters (D), hyperopia > +0.5 D, astigmatism <-0.5 D.

Results : Spherocylindrical errors of the eye (sphere and astigmatism) were calculated from the lower order aberrations (Z2;0, Z2,2; Z2,-2) for a pupil diameter of 4mm for the right eye of 1200 children, aged 2-19 years (mean: 10 ± 3.9 years). For all children, the prevalence of emmetropia was highest (65%; mean: 0.00D ± 0.26D), while hyperopia and myopia were equally prevalent (hyperopia: 17.4%, mean: +1.37D ±0.38D; myopia: 17.6%, mean: -1.52D ± 1.18D). The average astigmatic refractive error was -0.97D (SD ±0.68D) and was prevalent in 22.4% of the children. When participants were separated into preschool children (n= 355, mean age: 5 ± 1.2 years, range 2-6 years), school children and adolescents (n= 845, mean age: 12 ± 2.8 years, range 7-19 years), prevalence of emmetropia was still highest (preschool: 65%; school children and adolescents: 65%), while the prevalence of myopia increased in the group of school children and adolescents (21%) compared to preschool children (9%).

Conclusions : The prevalence of myopia and hyperopia is modest in urban children living in Germany. When separated into preschool children or school children and adolescents, the prevalence increases, but is still lower compared to rural Asian children. The global trend towards an increasing prevalence of myopia was not observed in the study group.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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