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F. Xiang, M. He, I. G. Morgan; The Impact of Parental Myopia and Other Familial Factors on Myopia in Chinese Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):1696.
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To assess the relationship between myopia in parents and myopia in their children in a cross-sectional population-based sample of Chinese school-children.
Cycloplegic (1% cyclopentolate) autorefraction was measured in children aged 5 to 15 in a randomized cluster sample of Guangzhou Refractive Error Study in Children (RESC) in 2002. Myopia was defined as a spherical equivalent refraction (SER) of at least -0.5 Diopter. Data on parental myopia and other socio-demographic characteristics including parental education level, income and occupation, as well as children’s near-work activities, were collected by questionnaire reported by the parents.
The prevalence of myopia was significantly higher in the children than in their parents (78.4% in 15 year-olds, compared to 19.8% in the parents). The prevalence of myopia increased in parallel and reached greater than 80% at the age of 15 in children with one parent (88.9%) or two parents myopic (83.3%), slightly higher than in those without myopic parents (68.2%), with a relative risk of 1.20-1.30. There was no significant difference between the effect of having one myopic parent and having two myopic parents(mean SER values were -2.76 D and. -2.75 D in children). Parental education, income and occupation correlated with parental myopia but had weaker associations with childhood myopia. These parental characteristics were not significant in logistic regression after including parental myopia in the models. The children of myopic parents were not exposed to increased levels of near work activities.
Most children in Guangzhou become myopic, irrespective of the myopic status of their parents. There is some additional risk of myopia in children with myopic parents, which could not be explained by the other environmental or socio-demographic factors examined. It may have a genetic basis, although further analysis of the role of time spent outdoors is required.
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