Susanna Tamkins


PURPOSE. This retrospective analysis reports the prevalence and distribution of refractive error in a school-aged Peruvian population. METHOD. Participants were self-selected, school-aged, Peruvian children of reported Incan descent presenting for a comprehensive eye examination. Refractive error was measured by non-cycloplegic retinoscopy. Retrospective survey of consecutive examination records from two specific clinic episodes one year apart was undertaken.

RESULTS. Participants numbered 319, with a mean age of 10 years [range 6 to 15 years]. Astigmatism (> or = 1.00 D) represented a majority of the refractive error diagnosed and was found in 60% of the presenting children. The mean astigmatism was -3.27 D [S.D. 1.69] and a large variability in astigmatic refractive error was detected [range: 1.00 to 10.00 D]. Astigmatism magnitude was elevated, 35% of the total patient eyes having greater than or equal to 3D of astigmatism. Hyperopic astigmatism was the most common [33% of total eyes], but simple astigmatism and myopic astigmatism were also prevalent [20% and 7% of eyes, respectively]. Astigmatism orientation was predominantly with-the-rule (WTR 150-30), found in 94% of astigmats. Other patients were emmetropic [27% < 1D]. Spherical refractive error was significantly underrepresented [myopia 4%, hyperopia 9%] and low in magnitude, with an approximate mean of +/- 2.00.

CONCLUSIONS. This retrospective study represents a rudimentary assessment of refractive error occurrence in a self-selected, unserved school-aged Peruvian population of Incan descent. High prevalence and magnitude of with-the-rule astigmatic refractive error in this population is documented. This finding suggests increased vulnerability to meridional amblyopia. Health service planning to address this preventable vision loss is essential. This isolated population may prove a viable source of information regarding the etiology of and the emmetropization process in refractive astigmatism.


Year: 2001

Program Number: Poster 16

Author Affiliation: Nova Southeastern University Health Sciences Division

Co-Authors: Stacy Friedman, Mark Ventocilla, Kathy Ong

Co-Author Affiliation: Nova Southeastern University Health Sciences Division, Nova Southeastern University Health Sciences Division, Nova Southeastern University Health Sciences Division

Room: Exhibit Hall C