Spherical Equivalent Refractive Error in Preschool Children From a Population With a High Prevalence of Astigmatism

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To describe spherical equivalent (sph eq) refractive errors in preschool members of a Native American tribe with a high prevalence of astigmatism.


Cycloplegic autorefraction measurements were obtained for 819 three- and four-year-old Tohono O’odham children, with follow-up measurements in 146 after 4 to 8 years.


Mean sph eq was significantly more hyperopic in the astigmatic group than in the non-astigmatic group (1.24 vs. 0.87 D). At follow-up, prevalence of hyperopic sph eq and hyperopic astigmatism had significantly decreased, and prevalence of emmetropic/myopic sph eq and myopic astigmatism had significantly increased. The decrease in mean sph eq was similar in astigmats and non-astigmats. Astigmatism did not change over time.


Most preschool children in this highly astigmatic population are hyperopic, with astigmats showing higher mean hyperopic sph eq than non-astigmats. Astigmats and non-astigmats show a similar decrease in amount of hyperopic sph eq over follow-up of 4 to 8 years.

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