Prevalence of hyperopia and associations with eye findings in 6- and 12-year-olds

Ophthalmology. 2008 Apr;115(4):678-685.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.04.061. Epub 2007 Jul 30.


Purpose: To describe the prevalence of hyperopia and associated factors in a representative sample of Australian schoolchildren 6 and 12 years old.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants: Schoolchildren ages 6 (n = 1765) and 12 (n = 2353) from 55 randomly selected schools across Sydney.

Methods: Detailed eye examinations included cycloplegic autorefraction, ocular biometry, cover testing, and dilated fundus examination. Information on birth and medical history were obtained from a parent questionnaire.

Main outcome measures: Moderate hyperopia defined as spherical equivalent (SE) refraction of > or =+2.00 diopters (D), and eye conditions including amblyopia, strabismus, astigmatism, and anisometropia.

Results: Prevalences of moderate hyperopia among children ages 6 and 12 were 13.2% and 5.0%, respectively; it was more frequent in children of Caucasian ethnicity (15.7% and 6.8%, respectively) than in children of other ethnic groups. Compared with children without significant ametropia (-0.49 < or = SE refraction < or = +1.99 D), the prevalence of eye conditions including amblyopia, strabismus, abnormal convergence, and reduced stereoacuity was significantly greater in children with moderate hyperopia (all Ps < 0.01). Maternal smoking was significantly associated with moderate hyperopia among 6-year-olds (P = 0.03), but this association was borderline among 12-year-olds (P = 0.055). Early gestational age (<37 weeks) and low birth weight (<2500 g) were not statistically significant predictors of moderate hyperopia in childhood.

Conclusions: Moderate hyperopia was strongly associated with many common eye conditions, particularly amblyopia and strabismus, in older children. Birth parameters did not predict moderate hyperopia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amblyopia / epidemiology
  • Anthropometry
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Eye / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / epidemiology*
  • Hyperopia / ethnology
  • Hyperopia / pathology
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology
  • Mothers
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Strabismus / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity