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Vol. 24 - Num. 95

Original Papers

Prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with amblyopia in preschool children

Julia Torrecillas Peraltaa, David Prieto Merinob, Jerónimo Lajara Blesac, Jorge L. Alió Sanzd, Jorge L. Alió del Barriod

aPrograma de Doctorado en Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad Católica San Antonio. Murcia. España.
bMétodos Estadísticos Aplicados en Investigación Médica. Universidad Católica San Antonio. Murcia. España. Facultad de Epidemiología y Salud de la Población. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Londres. Reino Unido .
cFacultad de Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad Católica San Antonio. Murcia. España.
dUnidad de Córnea, Catarata y Cirugía Refractiva. Vissum Miranza. Departamento de Oftalmología. Facultad de Medicina. Universidad Miguel Hernández. Alicante. España.

Correspondence: JL Alió. E-mail: jorge_alio@hotmail.com

Reference of this article: Torrecillas Peralta J, Prieto Merino D, Lajara Blesa J, Alió Sanz JL, Alió del Barrio JL. Prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with amblyopia in preschool children . Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2022;24:e291-e299.

Published in Internet: 20-09-2022 - Visits: 1043

Abstract

Objective: to estimate the prevalence of amblyopia and its treatment in preschool children in the province of Alicante over a long time period, and assess the influence of different sociodemographic factors.

Methods: cross-sectional descriptive observational study (2002-2015) using a validated amblyopia detection protocol (sensitivity, 89.3%; specificity, 93.1%) in preschool children aged 4 to 6 years. The primary outcome was the classification of the 140 102 examined children based on the test results ('normal', 'suspected amblyopia' or 'in treatment') and the explanatory variables: age, sex, school year, private/public ownership of school and school location.

Results: the prevalence of children with suspected amblyopia varied significantly between school years, ranging from 8.54% to 23.9% (p=0.00000). The prevalence of suspected amblyopia was significantly higher in children aged 6 years (16.68%; p=0.00000) and lowest in those attending private schools (8.05%; p=0.00000). The probability that a child with abnormal results was already in treatment increased with age (OR 2.06; p<0.001) and with enrolment in a private school (OR 1.56; p=0.001).

Conclusions: the prevalence of suspected amblyopia was high in the study area, with a higher risk in older children and children in to the lowest socioeconomic status group. School-based screening programs for early detection of amblyopia are recommended to increase and equalize access to treatment, thereby reducing the prevalence and severity of amblyopia in children.

Keywords

Amblyopia Primary care Visual acuity Visual impairment

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