Objective: To report the percentage of new cases of myopia in 4927 children aged 5 to 16 years who participated in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error Study between 1989 and 2009.
Design: A multicenter, longitudinal, observational, volunteer study of refractive error and ocular development in children from 5 racial/ethnic groups in which the participants were children who were not myopic (right eye cycloplegic auto refraction of less myopia/more hyperopia than -0.75 diopters [D] in both principal meridians) at study entry. A new case was a diagnosis of myopia (right eye cycloplegic auto refraction of -0.75 D or more myopia in both principal meridians) after study entry.
Results: Of the 4556 children entering the study who were not myopic, 749 (16.4%) received a diagnosis of myopia after study entry. Among these 749 children, the ages of the participants at diagnosis varied from 7 to 16 years, with the largest number diagnosed at age 11 years(136 participants [18.2%]). New cases of myopia occurred in 27.3% of Asians, 21.4% of Hispanics, 14.5% of Native Americans, 13.9% of African Americans, and 11% of whites. Female participants had more new cases than did male participants (18.5% vs 14.5%). Normal-birth weight children had more new cases than did low-birth weight children (16.9% vs 15.5%).
Conclusions: Sixteen percent of children enrolled in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error Study developed myopia during their school-aged years. The percentage increased yearly until age 11 years, after which it decreased. New cases of myopia varied by ethnic/racial group.