Purpose: The Raine Eye Health Study (REHS) was conceived to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for eye disease in young adults, and to characterize ocular biometric parameters in a young adult cohort. This article summarizes the rationale and study design of REHS and outlines the baseline prevalence of ophthalmic disease in this population.
Methods: The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study originated as a randomized-controlled trial of 2900 women recruited from the state's largest maternity hospital. Their offspring (N = 2868) have been followed at birth, ages 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17 and 20 years of age in a prospective cohort study. DNA has been collected from participants for genome-wide association studies. At the 20-year follow-up participants completed a comprehensive eye assessment that included visual acuity, orthoptic assessment and cycloplegic autorefraction, as well as several ocular biometric variables and multiple ophthalmic photographs of the anterior and posterior segments.
Results: A total of 1344 participants (51.3% male) were assessed over a 24-month period. For the majority of examined participants (85.5%) both parents were Caucasian, 63.3% had completed school year 12 or equivalent, 5.5% had myopia (spherical equivalent ≤-3 diopters) and 15 participants (1.2%) had unilateral or bilateral pterygia. Keratoconus, cataract, keratitis and uveitis were rare.
Conclusion: The REHS design and methodology allow comparison with other population-based studies of eye disease. The study established the prevalence of eye disorders in a large sample of predominantly Caucasian young Australian adults.