Ocular component data in schoolchildren as a function of age and gender

Karla Zadnik, Ruth E. Manny, Julie A. Yu, G. Lynn Mitchell, Susan A. Cotter, Julio C. Quiralte, Melvin D. Shipp, Nina E. Friedman, Robert N. Kleinstein, Terry W. Walker, Lisa A. Jones, Melvin L. Moeschberger, Donald O. Mutti, Sandral Hullett, Janene Sims, Raphael Weeks, Sandra Williams, Lee Andra Calvin, Pamela Qualley, Connie J. CrossnoeJennifer A. McLeod, Stephanie L. Tom, Janice M. Wensveen, Suzanne M. Wickum, Sally Henry, Raymond J. Chu, Soonsi Kwon, Gen Lee, John Lee, Robert J. Lee, Raymond Maeda, Rachael Emerson, Jodi M. Malone, Myhanh T. Nguyen, Linda Barrett, John Hayes, Pamela Wessel, Julie N. Swartzendruber, Donald F. Everett, J. Daniel Twelker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


Purpose. To describe the refractive error and ocular components of a large group of school-aged children as a function of age and gender. Methods. In this report, we describe the refractive error and ocular components of 2583 school-aged children (49.3% girls, overall mean [±SD] age 10.0 ± 2.3). Measurement methods included cycloplegic autorefraction, autokeratometry, videophakometry, and A-scan ultrasonography. For statistical comparisons across gender and age, a critical point of α = 0.005 was used to assess significance because of the large sample size and the large number of comparisons made. Results. Of these 2583 children, 10.1% were myopic (-0.75 D or more myopia in both meridians), and 8.6% were hyperopic (+1.25 D or more hyperopia in both meridians). As would be expected, there was a significant effect of age on refractive error (spherical equivalent, p < 0.0001), toward less hyperopia/more myopia. There was no significant difference in the average refractive error between girls and boys (p = 0.0192). Girls had steeper corneas than boys (0.74 D steeper in the vertical meridian and 0.63 D steeper in the horizontal meridian, p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in corneal power with age (p = 0.16). Both older age and male gender were significantly associated with deeper anterior chambers (p < 0.0001 for both). The crystalline lens showed significant thinning with age (p < 0.0001), however, there was no significant difference in the lens thickness between girls and boys (p = 0.66). Both Gullstrand lens power and calculated lens power showed significant effects of age and gender (p < 0.0001 for both). Girls, on average, had Gullstrand lens powers that were 0.28 D steeper and calculated lens powers that were 0.80 D more powerful than boys. Axial length also showed significant effects of age and gender (p < 0.0001 for both). Girls' eyes were, on average, 0.32 mm shorter than those of boys. Conclusions. These cross-sectional data show a general pattern of ocular growth, no change in corneal power, and crystalline lens thinning and flattening between the ages of 6 and 14 years. Girls tended to have steeper corneas, stronger crystalline lenses, and shorter eyes compared with boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Hyperopia
  • Myopia
  • Ocular components
  • Refractive error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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