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Rohit Varma, Kristina Tarczy-Hornoch, Susan A Cotter, Saiko Matsumura, Saw Seang Mei, Paul Mitchell, Kathryn Ailsa Rose, Xuejuan Jiang; Parental Myopia and Myopia in 6- to 72-month-old Multiethnic Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5861.
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Early-onset myopia is a strong predictor of future high myopia. Parental myopia has been identified as an important risk factor for preschool myopia in non-Hispanic whites and Asians. Using pooled data from population-based studies, we evaluated the effect of parental myopia on refractive error and ocular biometry in multiethnic children 6- to 72-months of age.
Parental myopia was ascertained in 3 population-based studies: the Multiethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study, the Strabismus, Amblyopia & Refractive Error in Singaporean Children Study, and the Sydney Pediatric Eye Disease Study. Comparable parental interviews and ocular examinations were performed. Parental myopia was defined as glasses/contact lenses worn for distant viewing by the child's biological parent. Cycloplegic refraction (worse eye) was used for participant refractive error. The association of parental myopia with their child’s refractive error and ocular biometry were assessed in multivariate regressions adjusted for study, child’s sex, race/ethnicity, age, primary caregiver education level, and other potential confounders.
Data from 9946 children were analyzed. Both maternal and paternal myopia were associated with a myopic shift and a higher risk of their child having myopia (≤-0.5D) (Ps<0.001). Early-onset parental myopia conferring a greater risk of childhood myopia than adult-onset parental myopia. Children with 2 myopic parents had 3.3 (95% confidence interval, 2.6-4.2) times the risk of having myopia than children whose parents were not myopic. This association was consistently observed in Asians (myopia prevalence in children with 2 vs. 0 myopic parents: 12.9% vs. 5.2%; P<0.001), non-Hispanic whites (5.0% vs. 0.7%; P<0.001), Hispanics (15.6% vs. 4.6%; P<0.001), and African Americans (23.6% vs. 7.1%; P=0.003) across all age groups except those under 1 year of age. Both maternal and paternal myopia were associated with their children having a greater axial length/corneal curvature radius ratio (Ps<0.001).
Parental myopia, especially early-onset parental myopia, was consistently associated with a greater risk of myopia in children from 4 different racial/ethnic groups. The effect of parental myopia can be observed in children as early as 1 year of age, suggesting an important role of genetic susceptibility in the development of myopia in young children.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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