Emmetropic eye growth in East Asians and non‐East Asians

Fabian Yii*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To compare axial length (AL) growth curves in East Asian (EA) and non-EA emmetropes.

A meta-regression of 28 studies with emmetrope-specific AL data (measured with optical biometry) was performed. Emmetropia was defined as spherical equivalent refraction (SER) between −0.50 and +1.25 D, determined under cycloplegia if the mean age was ≤20 years. The AL growth curve (mean AL vs. mean age) was first fitted to the full dataset using a weighted nonlinear mixed-effects model, before refitting the model with ethnicity as a two-level grouping variable (EA vs. non-EA). Ethnic differences in growth curve parameters were tested using the Wald test.

A total of 3331 EA and 1071 non-EA emmetropes (mean age: 6.5–23.1 years) were included. There was no evidence of an ethnic difference in either final AL (difference: 0.15 mm, 95% CI: −0.04 to 0.35 mm, p = 0.15) or initial AL, as represented by the amount that the final AL needed to be offset to obtain the y-intercept (difference: −2.77 mm, 95% CI: −10.97 to 5.44, p = 0.51). Likewise, AL growth rate (curve steepness) did not differ between ethnic groups (difference: 0.09, 95% CI: −0.13 to 0.31, p = 0.43). Collectively, AL growth rate decreased from 0.24 mm/year at 6 years of age to around 0.05 mm/year at 11 years of age, after which it dipped below the repeatability of optical biometry (±0.04 mm) and practically plateaued around 16 years of age (final AL: 23.60 mm).

EA and non-EA emmetropes have comparable AL growth curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1418
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number6
Early online date27 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • axial elongation rate
  • axial length
  • emmetropia
  • ethnicity
  • eye growth
  • myopia


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