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S. Goverdhan, A. Lockwood, A. Fogarty, C. Osmond, J. Kirwan; Hyperopia and Small Axial Length Are Associated With Socio-Economic Deprivation: A UK Cohort Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3962.
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To evaluate whether socio-economic deprivation is associated with ocular axial length and refractive error in an adult Caucasian cohort.
Axial length and spherical refractive error measurements were extracted from a continuous electronic cataract database of 5845 patients (n= 11625 eyes) at Portsmouth Eye unit, UK over a 4 year period (Jan 2004 to June 2008). Indices of multiple deprivation (IMD) scores measuring both social and economic domains (relating to income deprivation, employment deprivation, health deprivation and disability, education, skills and training deprivation, barriers to housing and services, living environment deprivation and crime) for each patient’s post code were calculated. IMD scores were then analysed for any association with axial length and spherical refractive error. P values were obtained using Spearman and mixed model regression analyses after adjusting for age, sex and the variable number of eyes for each patient.
After controlling for age and sex, a strong association was found between shorter axial length and IMD scores (P <0.0001, r² value = 0.0027) and between hyperopia and IMD scores (P =0.007, mean refractive error = 0.55 ± 3.26). Socio-economically deprived areas (higher IMD scores) were associated with shorter axial lengths and this association was strongest in the < 21 mm axial length group when compared to the > 24 mm axial length group (P <0.0001). 7 % of eyes in the most deprived quintile had axial length < 21.5 mm, compared with 4.3 % in the least deprived quintile IMD group (P < 0.0001).
Short axial length and hyperopia in adults may be related to socio-economic deprivation. Replication studies are required to confirm these associations in other Caucasian populations.
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