Near work, outdoor activity, and myopia in children in rural China: The Handan Offspring Myopia Study

Zhong Lin , Tieying Gao, Balamurali Vasudevan , Yuanbo Liang, Kenneth J Ciuffreda , Vishal Jhanji, Sujie Fan, Wei Han, Ningli Wang

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Abstract

Purpose
To evaluate the relationship of both near work and outdoor activities with refractive error in rural children in China.

Methods
In this cross-sectional study, 572 (65.1%) of 878 children (6-18 years of age) were included from the Handan Offspring Myopia Study (HOMS). Information from the parents on these children, as well as the parent’s non-cycloplegic refraction, were obtained from the database of the Handan Eye Study conducted in the years 2006-2007. A comprehensive vision examination, including cycloplegic refraction, and a related questionnaire were conducted to all children.

Results
The overall time spent on near work and outdoor activity in the children was 4.8 ± 1.6 and 2.9 ± 1.4 hours per day, respectively. Myopic children spent more time on near work (5.0 ± 1.7 hours vs.4.7 ± 1.6 hours, p=0.049), while no significant difference was found in outdoor activity hours (2.8 ± 1.3 hours vs. 3.0 ± 1.4 hours, p=0.38), as compared to non-myopic children. In the multiple logistic analysis, in general, no association between near work and myopia was found after adjusting for the children’s age, gender, parental refractive error, parental educational level, and daily outdoor activity hours [odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10, 0.94-1.27]. However, a weak protective effect of the outdoor activity on myopia was found (OR, 95% CI: 0.82, 0.70-0.96), after adjusting for similar confounders.

Conclusions
In general, no association between near work and myopia was found, except possibly for the high near work subgroup with moderate outdoor activity levels. A weak protective effect of outdoor activity on myopia in Chinese rural children was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBMC Ophthalmology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • offspring eye study
  • myopia
  • nearwork
  • outdoor activity

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    Lin , Z., Gao, T., Vasudevan , B., Liang, Y., Ciuffreda , K. J., Jhanji, V., Fan, S., Han, W., & Wang, N. (2017). Near work, outdoor activity, and myopia in children in rural China: The Handan Offspring Myopia Study. BMC Ophthalmology. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12886-017-0598-9