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Factors Related to the Progression of Myopia in Singaporean Children

Saw, Seang-Mei MBBS, MPH, PhD, MD; Nieto, F. Javier MHS, PhD; Katz, Joanne ScD; Schein, Oliver D. MD, MPH; Levy, Brian OD, MSc; Chew, Sek-Jin FRCS, PhD


Purpose To examine the possible factors related to the progression of myopia in Singapore children.

Methods One hundred fifty-three Singapore children aged 6 to 12 years were recruited to participate in a concurrent cohort study of the risk factors for the progression of myopia. Socioeconomic status, outdoor activity, and near-work activity were documented in a face-to-face clinic interview. The changes in cycloplegic subjective refraction and autorefraction were ascertained with the use of a Nidek ARK 900 over a 2-year period.

Results The average rate of progression of myopia as measured by subjective refraction was −0.59 D per year (95% confidence interval −0.52, −0.66). Younger children and children who were more myopic at the beginning (refractive error worse than −2.0 D) of the study had higher myopia progression rates.

Conclusions Myopia progression was faster for younger children and for children who had more severe myopia at baseline. Socioeconomic status and near-work activity were not related to myopia progression.

Department of Community, Occupational, and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore, Faculty of Medicine, Singapore (S-MS), Departments of Epidemiology (FJN) and International Health (JK), Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (ODS), Global Biological and Clinical Research, Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, New York (BL), and Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore (S-JC)

Received January 19, 2000; revision received June 20, 2000.

Seang-Mei Saw

Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine

National University of Singapore

16 Medical Drive

Singapore 117597


© 2000 American Academy of Optometry