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Frequency and distribution of refractive error in adult life: methodology and findings of the UK Biobank study

Frequency and distribution of refractive error in adult life: methodology and findings of the UK Biobank study
Frequency and distribution of refractive error in adult life: methodology and findings of the UK Biobank study
PURPOSE: To report the methodology and findings of a large scale investigation of burden and distribution of refractive error, from a contemporary and ethnically diverse study of health and disease in adults, in the UK.

METHODS:U K Biobank, a unique contemporary resource for the study of health and disease, recruited more than half a million people aged 40-69 years. A subsample of 107,452 subjects undertook an enhanced ophthalmic examination which provided autorefraction data (a measure of refractive error). Refractive error status was categorised using the mean spherical equivalent refraction measure. Information on socio-demographic factors (age, gender, ethnicity, educational qualifications and accommodation tenure) was reported at the time of recruitment by questionnaire and face-to-face interview.

RESULTS: Fifty four percent of participants aged 40-69 years had refractive error. Specifically 27% had myopia (4% high myopia), which was more common amongst younger people, those of higher socio-economic status, higher educational attainment, or of White or Chinese ethnicity. The frequency of hypermetropia increased with age (7% at 40-44 years increasing to 46% at 65-69 years), was higher in women and its severity was associated with ethnicity (moderate or high hypermetropia at least 30% less likely in non-White ethnic groups compared to White).

CONCLUSIONS: Refractive error is a significant public health issue for the UK and this study provides contemporary data on adults for planning services, health economic modelling and monitoring of secular trends. Further investigation of risk factors is necessary to inform strategies for prevention. There is scope to do this through the planned longitudinal extension of the UK Biobank study.
1932-6203
1-14
Cumberland, Phillippa M.
ab218b9e-5883-437d-a0f1-a8cec5533c55
Bao, Yanchun
eb4d37e7-829c-410c-958b-4f732aed4f16
Hysi, Pirro G.
72cc4ed2-a5f5-467c-b623-1175747b944f
Foster, Paul J.
9de4df5c-e7bc-43c5-8ce3-559937b995ff
Hammond, Christopher J.
c01dd7b2-c148-4b2b-ba7d-a8fb68d30bd3
Rahi, Jugnoo S.
8bd9ef0b-67b5-4b5b-a301-d43c4bd45cc5
Goverdhan, Srini
9ae32d5a-5c82-48a4-962d-1ed8acc3991e
Cumberland, Phillippa M.
ab218b9e-5883-437d-a0f1-a8cec5533c55
Bao, Yanchun
eb4d37e7-829c-410c-958b-4f732aed4f16
Hysi, Pirro G.
72cc4ed2-a5f5-467c-b623-1175747b944f
Foster, Paul J.
9de4df5c-e7bc-43c5-8ce3-559937b995ff
Hammond, Christopher J.
c01dd7b2-c148-4b2b-ba7d-a8fb68d30bd3
Rahi, Jugnoo S.
8bd9ef0b-67b5-4b5b-a301-d43c4bd45cc5
Goverdhan, Srini
9ae32d5a-5c82-48a4-962d-1ed8acc3991e

Cumberland, Phillippa M., Bao, Yanchun and Hysi, Pirro G. et al. (2015) Frequency and distribution of refractive error in adult life: methodology and findings of the UK Biobank study. PLoS ONE, 10 (10), 1-14. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139780). (PMID:26430771)

Record type: Article

Abstract

PURPOSE: To report the methodology and findings of a large scale investigation of burden and distribution of refractive error, from a contemporary and ethnically diverse study of health and disease in adults, in the UK.

METHODS:U K Biobank, a unique contemporary resource for the study of health and disease, recruited more than half a million people aged 40-69 years. A subsample of 107,452 subjects undertook an enhanced ophthalmic examination which provided autorefraction data (a measure of refractive error). Refractive error status was categorised using the mean spherical equivalent refraction measure. Information on socio-demographic factors (age, gender, ethnicity, educational qualifications and accommodation tenure) was reported at the time of recruitment by questionnaire and face-to-face interview.

RESULTS: Fifty four percent of participants aged 40-69 years had refractive error. Specifically 27% had myopia (4% high myopia), which was more common amongst younger people, those of higher socio-economic status, higher educational attainment, or of White or Chinese ethnicity. The frequency of hypermetropia increased with age (7% at 40-44 years increasing to 46% at 65-69 years), was higher in women and its severity was associated with ethnicity (moderate or high hypermetropia at least 30% less likely in non-White ethnic groups compared to White).

CONCLUSIONS: Refractive error is a significant public health issue for the UK and this study provides contemporary data on adults for planning services, health economic modelling and monitoring of secular trends. Further investigation of risk factors is necessary to inform strategies for prevention. There is scope to do this through the planned longitudinal extension of the UK Biobank study.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 September 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 October 2015
Published date: 2 October 2015
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388351
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388351
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: afa8193a-f881-49ce-a5f3-bc9c193bced5

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2016 13:57
Last modified: 06 Jul 2018 16:30

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