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J.D. Twelker, R. Bhakta, D. Messer, D.O. Mutti, G.L. Mitchell, L.A. Jones, K. Zadnik, CLEERE Study Group; Gender– and Age–Specific Differences in the Ocular Components in Southern Arizona School–Aged Children . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):5618.
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Purpose: To present an analysis of gender and age differences in the ocular components in Southern Arizona school–aged children. Methods: Subjects were 808 five to fifteen year–old children from elementary schools in Southern Arizona in the 2001–2003 school year. They were enrolled in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) Study. Parents/guardians described their child’s ethnicity as Native American (549), Hispanic (206), White (47), African American (4), and as an ethnicity other than those listed here (2). Study participants underwent a comprehensive eye examination including cycloplegic autorefraction, keratometry, phakometry, and A–scan ultrasonography. Results: The average age of study subjects was 9.8 +/– 2.0 years. There was no difference between boys and girls with respect to spherical equivalent refractive error. The average spherical refractive error was +0.71D +/– 1.50 for girls and +0.75D +/– 1.29 for boys at age 7 years, which became less hyperopic with age (p < 0.001). Corneal power was greater in girls compared to boys (difference = 0.6 D, p < 0.001) with no change with age. Lens refractive index was greater in girls compared to boys (difference=0.0033, p < 0.001) and did not change with age. Boys had greater axial length compared to girls (difference=0.036mm, P<0.001) and axial length increased with age (age 7 < ages 9 to 13, p <0.001). Conclusions: There are gender and age differences in the ocular components in this cohort of predominantly Native American and Hispanic school–aged children. Girls tend to have a more optically powerful anterior segment, but shorter axial length, which results in the same spherical refractive error as boys. Supported by NIH/NEI grant U10–EY08893, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and Research to Prevent Blindness.
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