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|Title: ||Associations with Prevalent and Incident Refractive Errors in Australian Schoolchildren|
|Authors: ||French, Amanda Nicole|
|Keywords: ||myopia, hyperopia, refractive errors, time outdoors, near work, education|
|Issue Date: ||13-Mar-2013|
|Publisher: ||Faculty of Health Sciences/University of Sydney|
|Abstract: ||Refractive errors, in particular myopia, are a leading cause of correctable visual impairment and pose significant costs through the need for correction and treatment of associated sight-threatening pathology. There is compelling evidence that environmental factors play a role in the development of myopic refractive errors with a number of risk factors proposed, most recently greater time spent outdoors has been shown to be protective for the development of myopia. Despite the large volume of research in this area, there is still a considerable amount that is not well understood or well documented.
The Sydney Myopia Study (SMS) was the first population-based study to document the prevalence of refractive errors in Australian schoolchildren. The Sydney Adolescent Vascular and Eye Study (SAVES), a 5-6 year follow-up of the SMS cohort was undertaken to determine the incidence of refractive errors and establish potentially causal factors for the development of myopia.
The investigations contained in this thesis have demonstrated that the prevalence and incidence of myopia is low in Australian children. However, there is evidence of an increase in prevalence between birth cohorts. This thesis has also provided further evidence of the importance of environmental influences for refractive development and in particular, has shown that greater time spent outdoors is protective for the development of myopia in children, with this especially crucial at a young age. In addition we have documented variation in the prevalence of refractive errors between European Caucasian children living in Sydney and Northern Ireland as well as between secondary schools, with high academically achieving schools having a particularly high prevalence of myopia, which is potentially explicable by differences in environmental exposures. As a natural and modifiable protective factor, increasing the amount of time children spend outdoors has the potential to curb increases in the prevalence of myopia.|
|Access Level: ||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.|
|Type of Work: ||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication: ||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|
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