Prevalence of refractive errors in children (age group 7-15 years) of rural and urban area of Gujarat: a population based study
Bhatt, Janardan; Trivedi, Vivek and Zalavadia, Sandeep (2006) Prevalence of refractive errors in children (age group 7-15 years) of rural and urban area of Gujarat: a population based study. Journal of Applied Basic Medical Sciences, 8 (1). pp. 128-135. ISSN ISSN-0972-4729
Full text available as:
AIM: To assess the prevalence of refractive error and related visual impairment in school-aged children in the rural population of the Prantij village of Sabarkantha district and compare the result with similar study done at Urban area in Ahmedabad in Gujarat. METHOD: Random selection of village-based clusters was used to identify a sample of children 7 to 15 years of age. From February 2006 through April 2006, children in the 25 selected clusters were enumerated in a door-to-door survey and examined at a rural eye center. The examination included visual acuity measurements, ocular motility evaluation and examination of the anterior segment & media. Myopia was defined as spherical equivalent refractive error of at least -0.50 D and hyperopia as +2.00 D or more. RESULTS: A total of 452 children from 500 households was enumerated, and 417 (92.3%) were examined. The prevalence of uncorrected, baseline (presenting), and best corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in the better eye was 2.7%, 2.6%, and 0.78%, respectively. Refractive error was the cause in 61% of eyes with vision impairment, amblyopia in 12%, other causes in 15%, and unexplained causes in the remaining 13%. A gradual shift toward less-positive values of refractive error occurred with increasing age in both boys and girls. Myopia in one or both eyes was present in 4.1% of the children. Myopia risk was associated with female gender and having a father with a higher level of schooling. Higher risk of myopia in children of older age was of borderline statistical significance (P = 0.069). Hyperopia in at least one eye was present in 0.8% of children, with no significant predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Refractive error was the main cause of visual impairment in children aged between 7 and 15 years in rural India. There was a benefit of spectacles in 70% of those who had visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in the better eye at baseline examination. Because visual impairment can have a significant impact on a child’s life in terms of education and development, it is important that effective strategies be developed to eliminate this easily treated cause of visual impairment.
Archive Staff Only: edit this record