Factors associated with the prevalence of myopia in 6-year-olds

Optom Vis Sci. 1999 May;76(5):266-71. doi: 10.1097/00006324-199905000-00011.


Purpose: To describe the frequency of and risk factors associated with myopia in grade one children.

Methods: Refractive error was measured by static retinoscopy, without cycloplegia, for 10,616 children in the first year of a province-wide vision-screening program. Information on factors that might be associated with myopia was collected from parents or guardians by self-administered questionnaires distributed before the vision screening. These factors were evaluated by a case-control method.

Results: The prevalence of myopia, greater than -0.25 D, was 6%. The estimated relative risk of myopia was increased significantly among children whose birth weight was <2500 g and whose mothers had a history of early spectacle use.

Conclusions: Results suggest that the prevalence of myopia in 6-year-old children is associated with both hereditary and nonhereditary factors. In accord with prior work, the results argue that low birth weight has a permanent influence upon eye development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • Myopia / diagnosis
  • Myopia / epidemiology*
  • Myopia / etiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires