Five-year progression of refractive errors and incidence of myopia in school-aged children in Western China

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Background: To determine the change in refractive error and the incidence of myopia among school-aged children in the Yongchuan District of Chongqing City, Western China. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was initially conducted in 2006 among 3070 children aged 6 to 15 years. A longitudinal follow-up study was then conducted 5 years later between November 2011 and March 2012. Refractive error was measured under cycloplegia with autorefraction. Age, sex, and baseline refractive error were evaluated as risk factors for progression of refractive error and incidence of myopia. Results: Longitudinal data were available for 1858 children (60.5%). The cumulative mean change in refractive error was -2.21 (standard deviation [SD], 1.87) diopters (D) for the entire study population, with an annual progression of refraction in a myopic direction of -0.43 D. Myopic progression of refractive error was associated with younger age, female sex, and higher myopic or hyperopic refractive error at baseline. The cumulative incidence of myopia, defined as a spherical equivalent refractive error of -0.50D or more, among initial emmetropes and hyperopes was 54.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.2%-63.5%), with an annual incidence of 10.6% (95% CI, 8.7%-13.1%). Myopia was found more likely to happen in female and older children. Conclusions: In Western China, both myopic progression and incidence of myopia were higher than those of children from most other locations in China and from the European Caucasian population. Compared with a previous study in China, there was a relative increase in annual myopia progression and annual myopia incidence, a finding which is consistent with the increasing trend on prevalence of myopia in China.




Zhou, W. J., Zhang, Y. Y., Li, H., Wu, Y. F., Xu, J., Lv, S., … Song, S. F. (2016). Five-year progression of refractive errors and incidence of myopia in school-aged children in Western China. Journal of Epidemiology, 26(7), 386–395.

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