• Vol. 29 No. 6, 740–744
  • 15 November 2000

Cross-Sectional Study of Near-work and Myopia in Kindergarten Children in Singapore



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Introduction: In view of the high and increasing myopia rates amongst young Singaporean children, we aimed to assess the relationship between near-work and myopia in 414 pre-school children aged 4 to 6 years.

Materials and Methods: We measured near-work indices such as tuition classes outside school and other possible risk factors via a questionnaire. We then measured myopia with a hand-held autorefractor.

Results: Children who had 3 or more hours per week of near-work classes outside school had a higher rate [odds ratio 1.39 (95% confidence interval 1.02, 2.53)] of myopia.

Conclusions: This suggests that there may be an association between near-work and myopia, even at such a young age. Given the increasing emphasis on near-work in Singapore, it may be important to call for increased visual health awareness, although further studies will be needed to establish if near-work causes myopia.

Myopia is the commonest eye disease worldwide, and is especially prevalent in certain Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. Physiologic myopia is thought to be a multifactorial disease with both genetic and environmental factors.

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