Prevalence and risk factors for refractive errors and ocular biometry parameters in an elderly Asian population: the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Study (SLAS)

Eye (Lond). 2011 Oct;25(10):1294-301. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.144. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the prevalence rates of refractive errors and pattern of ocular biometry in a multi-ethnic elderly Asian population.

Methods: A population-based study of 1835 residents aged 55-85 years, evaluating the refractive error and ocular biometry parameters, including axial length (AL) and anterior chamber depth.

Results: The age-standardized prevalence of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and anisometropia were 30.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 29.6, 30.4), 41.5% (95% CI: 41.1, 41.9), 43.5% (95% CI: 43.1, 44.0), and 22.1% (95% CI: 21.7, 22.4), respectively. Male gender (P=0.02), age ≥ 75 years (P=0.033), and higher educational level (P<0.001) were significantly associated with higher rates of myopia in multivariate analyses. The prevalence of astigmatism was higher in persons with diabetes (odds ratio (OR) 1.4, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.90, P=0.031). AL was longer in Chinese than other ethnic groups (23.7 vs 23.4 mm, P=0.018), and in men compared with women (24.2 vs 23.4 mm, P<0.001). AL was associated with increasing height (AL increased by 0.3 mm for every 10 cm increase in height, P<0.001).

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of myopia in elderly Singaporeans, consistent with trends seen in younger populations in Asia. Male gender and higher education were independent risk factors for myopia. These data suggest that higher rates of myopia in East Asians compared with Caucasians may not be a recent phenomenon.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Anisometropia / epidemiology
  • Anisometropia / ethnology
  • Anisometropia / physiopathology
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Astigmatism / epidemiology*
  • Astigmatism / ethnology
  • Astigmatism / physiopathology
  • Biometry*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / epidemiology*
  • Hyperopia / ethnology
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myopia / epidemiology*
  • Myopia / ethnology
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Singapore / epidemiology