Design and recent results of large-scale cohort epidemiology studies on refractive error in children in Shanghai

Haidong Zou, Xiangui He, Jianfeng Zhu, Xun Xu


Between 2011 and 2013, two large-scale cohort epidemiology studies were launched in Shanghai: the SCALE study, which aimed to provide ocular public health services to cover the entire youth population in Shanghai, and the SCES, which was based on sample surveys and aimed to provide information on the prevalence and incidence of visual impairment and different types of refractive errors. A total of 910,245 children and adolescents were finally enrolled in the SCALE study; three possible methods for monitoring refractive error without mydriasis were tested, and the agreement between the refractive outcomes of three commonly used autorefractors were examined to ensure the accuracy of the results of the SCALE study. A total of 8,627 children were enrolled in the SCES, and the baseline prevalence of different refractive errors, different behaviors associated with 1 year myopic shifts, and the different patterns of 2-year myopia progression between internal migrant and local resident school children have been analyzed. In some subset samples of the SCALE study and the SCES, several refraction components such as choroidal thickness (ChT) and crystalline lens power were also measured, to further elucidate the relationships between the refraction components and myopia as well as the mechanism of myopia incidence and development. The three methods used in Shanghai to prevent and intervene with childhood myopia: increasing outdoor time, low concentration atropine, and use of orthokeratology lens are also addressed in this review.