July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
An update of the prevalence of myopia in an older Australian population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Mackey
    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Gareth Lingham
    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Samantha Lee
    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Michael Hunter
    School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Busselton Population Medical Research Institute, Busselton, Western Australia, Australia
  • Diane Wood
    School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Alex W. Hewitt
    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Paul Mitchell
    Department of Ophthalmology (Centre for Vision Research), Westmead Hospital) and Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia
  • Hugh R Taylor
    Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Seyhan Yazar
    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   David Mackey, None; Gareth Lingham, None; Samantha Lee, None; Michael Hunter, None; Diane Wood, None; Alex Hewitt, None; Paul Mitchell, None; Hugh Taylor, None; Seyhan Yazar, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 3954. doi:
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      David Mackey, Gareth Lingham, Samantha Lee, Michael Hunter, Diane Wood, Alex W. Hewitt, Paul Mitchell, Hugh R Taylor, Seyhan Yazar; An update of the prevalence of myopia in an older Australian population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3954.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : A worldwide myopia “epidemic” is being reported, but there have been no recent reports about myopia prevalence in older adults in Australia since the conclusion of the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) and Melbourne Visual Impairment Project (MVIP) over 20 years ago. The purpose of this study is to report myopia prevalence in two contemporary cross-sectional studies in Western Australia: the coastal-rural Busselton Healthy Ageing Study (BHAS), and the metropolitan Generation 1 of the Raine study (G1RS) based in Perth, and compare to the older cohorts.

Methods : We obtained data for 15,821 participants from four Australian studies. Refractive error was measured by autorefraction or vertometry. Participants aged between 49 and 70 years of Northern European ancestry were included in this analysis, and they were excluded if there was self-reported/diagnosed cataract, corneal disease, refractive, or corneal surgery. Myopia and high myopia prevalence was evaluated using spherical equivalent cut-off points of ≤-0.50D and ≤-5.0D, respectively.

Results : Cleaned data included 2213, 1564, 3948 and 756 participants from BMES, MVIP, BHAS and G1RS, respectively. The mean age within cohorts ranged from 57.1 (SD 4.6) years in G1RS to 60.1 (SD 6.0) years in BMES, and 44 to 47% of participants were male. Crude myopia prevalence was higher in the more recent BHAS (35.6%[95%CI:34.1-37.1]) and GR1S (29.9% [95%CI:26.2-33.3) cohorts compared to adults of similar age in older studies (BMES: 21.2% [95%CI:19.5-23.0]; MVIP: 22.8%[95%CI:20.7-24.9]). The proportion of participants with high myopia was greatest in the urban G1RS (4.0% [95%CI:2.7-5.6]), but was lowest in coastal-rural BHAS (1.6%[95%CI:1.3-2.1]).

Conclusions : In agreement with the reported global trends, we report a significant increase in myopia prevalence in older adults in Australia born after World War ll compared to cohorts born before. Of particular note there seems to be a significantly more high myopia in modern urban populations. This rapid increase has important implications for public health, given the cost of optical correction, reduced vision-specific quality-of-life, and elevated risk of potentially blinding eye disease in myopia, particular high myopia.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.

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