April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
Prevalence of Vision Disorders by Racial and Ethnic Group Among Children Participating in Head Start
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. G. Maguire
    Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • G.-S. Ying
    Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • E. Ciner
    University, Salus, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
  • L. Cyert
    Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
  • M. T. Kulp
    College of Optometry, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Vision In Preschoolers Study Group
    Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  M.G. Maguire, None; G.-S. Ying, None; E. Ciner, None; L. Cyert, None; M.T. Kulp, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI/NIH, DHHS grants: U10EY12644; U10EY12547; U10EY12545; U10EY12550; U10EY12534; U10EY12647; U10EY12648 and R21EY018908.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 138. doi:
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      M. G. Maguire, G.-S. Ying, E. Ciner, L. Cyert, M. T. Kulp, Vision In Preschoolers Study Group; Prevalence of Vision Disorders by Racial and Ethnic Group Among Children Participating in Head Start. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):138.

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

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Purpose: : To compare the prevalence of amblyopia, strabismus, and significant refractive error among African American (AA), Asian , Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic White (NHW) 3- to 5-year-old children participating in Head Start (HS).

Methods: : All children were participants in HS, a program providing comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, located in 5 areas of the country. Children classified as "special needs" (physical or mental disabilities) were excluded from VIP. After mandatory HS vision screening, all children who failed the HS screening and a sample of those who passed were selected for VIP. VIP-certified pediatric optometrists and ophthalmologists performed a standardized comprehensive ocular examination, including cycloplegic retinoscopy. Standard definitions were applied to identify amblyopia, strabismus, significant refractive error, and/or reduced visual acuity. Sampling fractions were used to calculate weights for estimation of prevalence rates, confidence intervals, and associated chi-square tests of homogeneity.

Results: : Overall, 86.5% of those eligible and consenting to participate were examined in VIP. Examinations were performed on 2008 AA, 143 Asian, 870 Hispanic and 490 NHW children. Prevalence of amblyopia was similar among groups, ranging from 3.0% (Asian) to 5.3% (NHW), p=0.12. Prevalence of strabismus also was similar, ranging from 1.0% (Asian) to 4.4% (NHW), p=0.09. Prevalence of hyperopia varied by group, ranging from 5.6% (Asian) to 12.3% (NHW), p=0.001. Prevalence of anisometropia also varied by group, ranging from 2.7% (Asian) to 6.7% (Hispanic), p=0.04. Myopia was relatively uncommon in all groups (≤2%). Prevalence of astigmatism was similar among groups, ranging from 6.6% (NHW) to 11.1% (Hispanic), p=0.09.

Conclusions: : Among Head Start children, the prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus is similar among the 4 racial and ethnic groups considered in this report. Prevalence of refractive error, specifically hyperopia and anisometropia, varied by group with Asians having the lowest rates.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • amblyopia • strabismus 

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