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H.R. Taylor, T.A. Robin, V.C. Lansingh, L.M. Weih, J.E. Keeffe; Myopic Shift in Australian Aborigines: 1978 - 2001 . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):800.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: This study compared new refraction data collected in 2001 with previous refractive results of Australian Aboriginal adults from 1978 to determine if the population had experienced a change in the prevalence of myopia as has been observed in other populations. METHODS: Australian Aboriginal adults aged 20 to 30 years old were selected from Central Australian communities. In 1978, refractive status was assessed using mydriatic retinoscopy; autorefraction was used in 2001. Intra class correlation coefficients were obtained to verify the comparability of autorefraction measurements with previous data obtained from mydriatic retinoscopy. An analysis of variance was used to compare mean right and left eye sphere, cylinder and spherical equivalent from 1978 and 2001. RESULTS: Intra class correlation coefficients for absolute agreement between auto refraction and mydriatic retinoscopy showed good agreement in two validity trials for sphere and cylinder measurements of right and left eyes (ICC > 0.87, all). A total of 161 adults (107 males, 54 females) were examined in 1978, and 128 adults (58 males, 70 females) in 2001. The data demonstrate a statistically significant difference of –1.09 diopters (F=126, p<0.001) in mean spherical equivalent (right eyes) between the 1978 and 2001 cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The observed shift towards myopia seen in Australian Aboriginals between 1978 and 2001 appears to be a real change in refractive status rather than a measurement artifact. Although the causes of such a shift are not addressed in this research, the trend towards myopia mirrors that observed in other populations in recent years.
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