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Hannah Forward, Jane C. Khan, Seyhan Yazar, Charlotte McKnight, Alex X. Tan, Terri L. Young, Christopher J. Hammond, Craig Pennell, Jenny Mountain, David A. Mackey; Determinants of High Level Visual Acuity - The Raine Eye Health Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4788.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine healthy young adults with high-level visual acuity (VA) to determine factors that contribute to their superior vision. High-level visual acuity was defined as best corrected VA in the better eye ≤20/12.5 (-0.2 LogMAR). "Good" vision was defined as the interquartile range; -0.12 to -0.04.
Participants were recruited into the study from 18 weeks gestation. Participants were examined every two years with height and weight data available at 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 and 20 years of age. At age 20 years, 1240 participants underwent an ophthalmic examination including cycloplegic autorefraction and best corrected LogMAR VA.
73 (5.9%) participants had high-level VA while 643 (51.9%) had vision classified as Good. A significantly higher proportion of high-level visual acuity participants (HLVAPs) were female (64.4% female, p=0.005).HLVAPs were more hypermetropic with a median spherical refraction of 0.75 D compared to 0.50 D in the control group (p=0.001). The range of spherical error was also small -2.50 D to 2.00 D compared to a range of -9.50 to 6.00D in the Good vision group. HLVAPs also had significantly less cylindrical error (p=0.018) with no participant having more than -1.00D. The Good vision participants ranged from 0 to -3.25D of cylindrical error.HLVAPs were significantly taller (p=0.002) than their counterparts at 20 years of age (difference between median heights 7cm). No HLVAP was underweight (<2500g) at delivery compared to 6.8% of the Good vision group. There was a statistically significant difference (p=0.012) in mean birth weight for gestational age for the HLVAPs, which was 3347g compared to 3486g in the Good group. HLVAPs were taller and heavier at 1, 2 and 3 years of age and taller at 8, 10 and 20 years of age.There was no difference in ethnicity, maternal prenatal alcohol consumption, maternal diabetes, breastfeeding duration or maternal BMI. There was also no difference in the amount of television watched as teenagers, time spent outdoors or educational level.
Babies who were born larger and became taller adults had superior vision. Developmental origins of health and disease may explain these relationships however more intrauterine factor research is needed.Few studies have examined for the determinants of high-level VA. Further analysis of higher order refractive error may provide additional insights.
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