Despite its substantial impact, not much is known about hyperopia in early childhood. In an attempt to gather more information, researchers sought to pinpoint the prevalence, ocular characteristics and associated risk factors of moderate/high hyperopia in this patient demographic.

This analysis pooled together participant data from four population-based studies of 15,051 six- to 72-month-old multiethnic children with pediatric eye diseases. The team used parental interview data and ocular examination findings from the original studies, defined the presence of hyperopia based on cycloplegic refractive error in the worse eye and evaluated the association of potential risk factors with hyperopia risk.

The researchers found that the overall prevalence of moderate/high hyperopia (≥4.0D) in the worse eye was 3.2%, accounting for 15.6% of all hyperopia (≥2.0D). Among children with moderate/high hyperopia, they note that 64.4% had hyperopia in both eyes, 28.9% had spherical anisometropia of ≥1.0D and 19.5% had astigmatism of ≥1.5D. They add that the prevalence of moderate/high hyperopia was slightly less in 12- to 23-month-old children and relatively stable in children 24 months or older. The team identified non-Hispanic and Hispanic white race/ethnicity, family history of strabismus and maternal smoking during pregnancy as risk factors associated with a higher risk of moderate/high hyperopia in these young patients.

Jiang X, Tarczy-Hornoch K, Stram D, et al. Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of moderate/high hyperopia among multiethnic children 6 to 72 months old—a pooled analysis of individual participant data. Ophthalmology. February 26, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].