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Trajectories of spherical equivalent refraction from grades 1 to 4 in Chinese children

BMC Public Health. 2023 Dec 13;23(1):2500. doi: 10.1186/s12889-023-17420-x.


BACKGROUND: The development trajectories of children’s SER remain unknown. This study aimed to characterize spherical equivalent refraction (SER) trajectories during grades 1-4 in Chinese children.

METHODS: This prospective cohort study included 1226 first-grade non-myopic children from 12 public primary schools, randomly selected in two districts in Guangzhou, China. From November 2018 to March 2022, four-wave ocular examinations and questionnaire surveys have been completed. The group-based trajectory modeling was used to explore SER trajectories in grades 1-4.

RESULTS: All five trajectories showed an upward trend and rose faster after grade 2. Children in the sharp-developing (n = 44), high-developing (n = 136), and rapid-developing (n = 237) myopia groups developed myopia before grades 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Their SER development speed remained at a relatively high level after myopia, almost consistent with that before myopia. Children in the moderate-developing (n = 418) and low-developing (n = 391) non-myopia groups did not develop myopia before grade 4. Some characteristics in grade 1 were independently associated with SER trajectories, including sex, axial length, number of parents with myopia, residence, academic achievement, and the duration of outdoor activity. Based on the baseline characteristics, we established the model predicting the probability of children belonging to each group.

CONCLUSIONS: Myopia interventions are best started in grade 1 or preschool age. If interventions are not taken in time, the latest intervention window might be in grades 1, 2, and 3 for children with a high probability of belonging to the sharp-developing, high-developing, and rapid-developing myopia groups, respectively. The above probabilities might be predicted using the model we established. Moreover, the interventions for myopic children shouldn’t be ignored.

PMID:38093233 | DOI:10.1186/s12889-023-17420-x

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