THE TRANSMISSION OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS WITHIN ESKIMO FAMILIES*


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Abstract

A study was carried out on volunteer Eskimo families at Barrow, Alaska. The total population consisted of 508 subjects with complete information including a clinical examination as well as refractions with and without cycloplegics. Correlations between refractive errors of parents and children as well as between siblings are determined on 41 family units comprising 197 subjects. The correlations between parents and children were not significantly different from zero, whereas the correlations between siblings were high and significant. These results were interpreted to suggest that there is no major hereditary component involved in development of myopic refractions among the offspring while there is a strong environmental component operating to create the sibling correlations. These interpretations are supported by the fact that there is virtually no myopia among the grandparents or parents but approximately 58% of the offspring are myopic.

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