Low prevalence of myopia in children from a rural population in Marcos Juárez, Argentina

  • Ignacio Magnetto Omar Magnettoa Agustín Magnetto Rodrigo M. Torres Rafael Iribarren Dr. Magnetto Ophthalmological Center, Marcos Juárez, Córdoba, Argentina. ROMAT, Colonia Avellaneda, Entre Ríos, Argentina Dres. Iribarren Eye Consultants, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Purpose: This study was developed to evaluate the prevalence and progression of myopia in children living in a rural area of Argentina.

Methods: This was a prospective school-based cohort study of refractive error. Children attending all schools in Marcos Juarez were examined first at school entrance and 5 years later (ages 11-12). The spherical equivalent refraction (SER) was obtained with cycloplegia.

Results: In 2013, 347 children were examined and 283 of these were available 5 years later (81%). At follow-up mean age was 11.84 ± 0.36 years. The mean SER was +1.36 ± 0.83 D in 2013 and decreased significantly to +1.07 ± 1.03 D in 2018 (an overall shift of -0.30 D, p<0.001). The prevalence of myopia < -0.50 D was low (2.12% in 2013 and 3.53% in 2018), and there were no cases of high myopia < -5.00 D in either period. The prevalence of hyperopia (> +2.00 D) decreased from 15.55% in 2013, to 9.54% in 2018, while the prevalence of emmetropia and low hyperopia (-0.50 to +2.00 D) increased with follow-up (82.68% in 2013 to 86.92% in 2018). There was a very low incidence of myopia in five years (1.44%).

Conclusion: A low prevalence and incidence of myopia was detected in a rural area of Argentina, in children followed from age 7 to 12 years.

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