Evaluating the Relationship between Race and Amblyogenic Risk Factors in Preschool Children in Fort Worth, Texas




Karsaliya, Gopal
Omar, Salma
Luna-Smith, Annabel
Aryal, Subhash
Mozdbar, Sima


0000-0003-1754-4197 (Karsaliya, Gopal)

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Background Amblyopia (lazy eye) is the most common cause of vision loss in children. The prevalence is between 2-5% in the United States. Amblyogenic risk factors include early visual deprivation, strabismus, anisometropia, and media opacities such as a cataract. If treatment for amblyopia is not initiated before the age of 7, the likelihood of successful correction begins to drastically decline with age. Previous studies have found correlations between race and various vision abnormalities. This study aims to assess the incidence of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism among pre-Kindergarten children of different racial groups in Fort Worth, TX, as well as evaluate any racial differences in the presence of amblyogenic risk factors. Methods Using the PlusoptiX refractometers at 37 local elementary schools, researchers collected refractive error data of N=2,258 children under the age of 6, allowing for the detection of hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, and anisometropia. The children's age, race, and sex were also recorded. A chi-square test was done to compare proportions of male/female participants, and odds ratios were calculated for each amblyogenic risk factor between racial/ethnic groups. Results Those with at least one amblyogenic risk factor accounted for 27.82% of the sample. There was a significant difference in astigmatism as an amblyogenic risk factor between Black and Hispanic groups (OR=0.6039, 95%CI 0.46-0.79) and between White and Hispanic groups (OR=0.2387, 95%CI 0.17-0.34). Conclusion The results of this study suggest Hispanic children were at increased risk of developing amblyopia compared to Black and White children in Fort Worth.