Near work related parameters and myopia in Chinese children: the Anyang childhood eye study

Shi-Ming Li, Si-Yuan Li, Meng-Tian Kang, Yuehua Zhou, Luo-Ru Liu, He Li, Yi-Peng Wang, Si-Yan Zhan, Bamini Gopinath, Paul Mitchell, Ningli Wang*, Anyang Childhood Eye Study Group

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: To examine the associations of near work related parameters with spherical equivalent refraction and axial length in Chinese children. Methods: A total of 1770 grade 7 students with mean age of 12.7 years were examined with cycloplegic autorefraction and axial length. Questions were asked regarding time spent in near work and outdoors per day, and near work related parameters. Results: Multivariate models revealed the following associations with greater odds of myopia: continuous reading (> 45min), odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.8; close television viewing distance (≤ 3m), OR, 1.7; 95%CI, 1.2-2.3; head tilt when writing, OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.7, and desk lighting using fluorescent vs. incandescent lamp, OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0. These factors, together with close reading distance and close nib-tofingertip distance were significantly associated with greater myopia (P<0.01). Among near work activities, only reading more books for pleasure was significantly associated with greater myopia (P=0.03). Television viewing distance (≤ 3 m), fluorescent desk light, close reading distance (≤20 cm) and close nib-to-fingertip distance (≤ 2 cm) were significantly associated with longer axial length (P<0.01). Reading distance, desk light, and reading books for pleasure had significant interaction effects with parental myopia. Conclusions: Continuous reading, close distances of reading, television viewing and nib-to-fingertip, head tilt when writing, reading more books for pleasure and use of fluorescent desk light were significantly associated with myopia in 12-year-old Chinese children, which indicates that visual behaviors and environments may be important factors mediating the effects of near work on myopia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0134514
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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