Evaluation of risk factors for long term changes in refractive error among adult patients at a Dallas Texas private setting A retrospective chart-review study
Background. Over 39.9% of the adult population forty or older in the United States has refractive error, little is known about the etiology of this condition and associated risk factors and their entailed mechanism due to the paucity of data regarding the changes of refractive error for the adult population over time.
Aim. To evaluate risk factors over a long term, 5-year period, in refractive error changes among persons 43 or older by testing the hypothesis that age, gender, systemic diseases, nuclear sclerosis and baseline refractive errors are all significantly associated with refractive errors changes in patients at a Dallas, Texas private optometric office.
Methods. A retrospective chart review of subjective refraction, eye health, and self-report health history was done on patients at a private optometric office who were 43 or older in 2000 who had eye examinations both in 2000 and 2005. Aphakic and pseudophakic eyes were excluded as well as eyes with best corrected Snellen visual acuity of 20/40 and worse. After exclusions, refraction was obtained on 114 right eyes and 114 left eyes. Spherical equivalent (sum of sphere + ½ cylinder) was used as the measure of refractive error.
Results. Similar changes in refractive error were observed for the two eyes. The 5-year change in spherical power was in a hyperopic direction for younger age groups and in a myopic direction for older subjects, P<0.0001. The gender-adjusted mean change in refractive error in right eyes of persons aged 43 to 54, 55 to 64, 65 to 74, and 75 or older at baseline was +0.43D, +0.46 D, -0.09 D, and -0.23D, respectively. Refractive change was strongly related to baseline nuclear cataract severity; grades 4 to 5 were associated with a myopic shift (-0.38 D, P< 0.0001). The mean age-adjusted change in refraction was +0.27 D for hyperopic eyes, +0.56 D for emmetropic eyes, and +0.26 D for myopic eyes.
Conclusions. This report has documented refractive error changes in an older population and confirmed reported trends of a hyperopic shift before age 65 and a myopic shift thereafter associated with the development of nuclear cataract.
0573: Public health