Effect of stature and other anthropometric parameters on eye size and refraction in a population-based study of Australian children

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Dec;46(12):4424-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0077.


Purpose: To determine the effect of anthropometric parameters on refraction and ocular biometry.

Methods: Noncontact methods were used to examine ocular dimensions and cycloplegic refraction in a stratified random cluster sample of year-1 Sydney school students (mean age, 6 years; n = 1765). Height, body weight, and waist circumference were measured according to a standardized protocol. Body mass index (BMI) was subsequently calculated. The percentage of body fat was measured with leg-leg bioelectrical impedance analysis. Associations between parameters were analyzed by multiple linear regression.

Results: After adjustment for age in weeks, height was found to be strongly associated with axial length and corneal radius. Children in the 1st quintile for height had axial length of 22.39 +/- 0.04 mm compared with 22.76 +/- 0.04 mm in children in the 5th quintile. Other anthropometric parameters were not associated with axial length or corneal radius. Height was not associated with anterior chamber depth after adjustment for weight. Increases in weight, BMI, and waist circumference were associated with a deeper anterior chamber after adjustment for height. No associations were found between the measured anthropometric parameters and refraction or axial length-corneal radius ratio.

Conclusions: This study found a strong association between height and axial length and corneal radius, but not spherical equivalent refraction. The findings may demonstrate the effectiveness of emmetropization in the presence of normal physiological influences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Chamber / anatomy & histology
  • Anthropometry*
  • Biometry
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Height / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cornea / anatomy & histology
  • Eye / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Refractive Errors / epidemiology
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waist-Hip Ratio