Purpose: To determine the prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus in 7th-grade junior high school students in central China.
Methods: Using stratified cluster sampling, 2363 7th-grade students were recruited from four junior high schools in Anyang city into the cross-sectional Anyang Childhood Eye Study (ACES). All students underwent visual acuity (VA), cycloplegic autorefraction, cover test, and ocular movement examinations. Uncorrected VA and best-corrected VA (BCVA) were measured with a logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) chart. Cycloplegic autorefraction was performed after administration of 1.0% cyclopentolate and Mydrin-P. Strabismus was defined as heterotropia at near or distance fixation. Amblyopia was defined as BCVA ≤ 0.1 logMAR units in one or both eyes, without ocular pathology in either eye.
Results: Of the 2363 eligible students, 2260 (95.6%) completed all examinations. The mean age of the students was 12.4 ± 0.6 years. Amblyopia was present in 52 students (2.5%), of whom 33 (63.5%) had unilateral and 19 (36.6%) had bilateral amblyopia. Of those with unilateral amblyopia, 18 (54.5 %) had anisometropia and 7 (21.2%) had strabismus. Of those with bilateral amblyopia, 6 (31.6%) had significant refractive error. Strabismus was present in 108 students (5.0%), of whom 2 (1.9%) had esotropia, 102 (94.4%) had exotropia, 3 (2.8%) had vertical strabismus, and 1 (0.9%) had microstrabismus. Of the 108 students with strabismus, 9 (8.3%) had amblyopia.
Conclusion: The cross-sectional ACES which examined the prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus in 7th-grade students in central China revealed the prevalence of strabismus, particularly the proportion of exotropia, to be higher than previously reported.
Keywords: Amblyopia; children; epidemiology; prevalence; strabismus.