[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the associations between near work, outdoor activity, and myopia among children attending secondary school in rural China.
Among a random cluster sample of 1892 children in Xichang, China, subjects with an uncorrected acuity of 6/12 or less in either eye (n = 984) and a 25% sample of children with normal vision (n = 248) underwent measurement of refractive error. Subjects were administered a questionnaire on parental education, time spent outdoors, and weekly time spent engaged in and preferred working distance for a variety of near-work activities.
Among 1232 children with refraction data, 998 (81.0%) completed the near-work survey. Their mean age was 14.6 years (SD, 0.8 years), 55.6% were girls, and 83.1% had myopia of -0.5 diopters or less (more myopia) in both eyes. Time and diopter-hours spent on near activities did not differ between children with and without myopia. In regression models, time spent on near activities and time outdoors were unassociated with myopia, adjusting for age, sex, and parental education.
These and other recent results raise some doubts about the association between near work and myopia. Additional efforts to identify other environmental factors associated with myopia risk and that may be amenable to intervention are warranted.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Archives of ophthalmology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inadequately corrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual disability among children in China; inaccurate spectacles are a potential cause. The prevalence and visual impact of spectacle inaccuracy were studied among rural, secondary-school children, to determine the optimal timing for updating of refraction.
A random sample of children from years 1 and 2 in all junior and senior high schools in Fuyang Township, Guangdong Province, underwent ocular examination. All children who reported wearing glasses received cycloplegic refraction, vision assessment, and measurement of current spectacles.
Among 3226 examined children, 733 (22.7%) reported owning spectacles. Refractive error and spectacle power were assessed for 588 (80.2%) children. They had a mean age of 15.0 +/- 1.6 years; 70.2% were girls, 83.3% had more than -1.5 D of myopia, and 17.9% had presenting vision < or = 6/12 in the better eye. The glasses of 48.8% of children were inaccurate by > or = 1 D; inaccuracy was > or = 2 D in 17.7%. Children with inaccurate glasses (> or = 1 D) had presenting vision in the better eye significantly (P < 0.001) worse than that of children with accurate glasses, and 30.3% had presenting acuity < or = 6/12. In multivariate models, younger age (P = 0.004), more myopic refractive error (P < 0.001), and having glasses > or = 1 year old (P = 0.04) were associated with inaccurate spectacles.
Inaccurate spectacles are common and are associated with significant visual impairment among children in rural China. Reducing outdated glasses could lessen the visual burden, although refractive services may have to be offered on an annual basis for optimal benefit.
No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess determinants of spectacle acceptance and use among rural Chinese children.
Children with uncorrected acuity < or = 6/12 in either eye and whose presenting vision could be improved > or = 2 lines with refraction were identified from a school-based sample of 1892 students. Information on obtaining glasses and the benefits of spectacles was provided to children, families, and teachers. Purchase of new spectacles and reasons for nonpurchase were assessed by direct inspection and interview 3 months later.
Among 674 (35.6%) children requiring spectacles (mean age, 14.7 +/- 0.8 years), 597 (88.6%) were followed up. Among 339 children with no glasses at baseline, 30.7% purchased spectacles, whereas 43.2% of 258 children with inaccurate glasses replaced them. Most (70%) subjects paid US$13 to $26. Among children with bilateral vision < or = 6/18, 45.6% bought glasses. In multivariate models, presenting vision < 6/12 (P < 0.009), refractive error < -2.0 D (P < 0.001), and amount willing to pay for glasses (P = 0.01) were predictors of purchase. Reasons for nonpurchase included satisfaction with current vision (78% of those with glasses at baseline, 49% of those without), concerns over price or parental refusal (18%), and fear glasses would weaken the eyes (13%). Only 26% of children stated that they usually wore their new glasses.
Many families in rural China will pay for glasses, though spectacle acceptance was < 50%, even among children with poor vision. Acceptance could be improved by price reduction, education showing that glasses will not harm the eyes, and parent-focused interventions.