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E Eugenie Hartmann, Carolyn Drews-Botsch, Scott R Lambert; Association between motor skills at 4½ years and physical activity at 10½ years in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3610.
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Children with unilateral cataracts may have poorer fine and gross motor skills. Given the importance of physical activity for later cardiovascular health, it is of interest to know if these motor deficits translate to less activity in later childhood. We hypothesized that children with poorer motor skills at age 4½ years might have less involvement in sports and physical activity as determined by parental perception at age 10½ years.
The IATS is a multi-center randomized clinical trial designed to compare implantation of an IOL versus being left aphakic in infants between 1 and 7 months of age with unilateral congenital cataracts. As part of Phase 2 of the study, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) was administered by a traveling tester at age 4½ years. Standardized percentile scores for the MABC were calculated for the three subscales (MD: manual dexterity; AC: aiming and catching; BAL: balance) as well as the total score. At age 10½ years, parents were asked to report the frequency with which the child participated in structured and unstructured physical activity and the extent to which the parent believed that the child’s vision interfered with sports participation or catching a ball. Spearman’s Correlation coefficients were used to compare the relationship between percentile score on the MABC and parental report.
There was little evidence that poor fine or gross motor scores at age 4½ years of age predicted parent-reported participation in physical activity at 10½ years. However, those children with better aiming and catching skills at 4½ years were more likely to spend more time participating in sports (rspearman=0.29, p<0.01; N=82).
Although we hypothesized that children with poorer fine and gross motor skills at age 4½ years might have less involvement in sports and physical activity in later childhood, we found little evidence to support this hypothesis. Rather, our data suggest that the poor fine and gross motor skills observed at age 4½ years do not translate to less involvement in physical activity. These findings could result from improved fine and gross motor skills among children with unilateral congenital cataracts as they age or the fact that poor motor development does not translate to general reductions in physical activity and thus are unlikely to increase risks for later obesity and cardiovascular disease.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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