Characteristics of Astigmatism in a Population of Tunisian School-Children
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the characteristics of astigmatism in a cross-sectional study of schoolchildren in Tunisia.
Specifically, the study addresses the prevalence of astigmatism in schoolchildren in Tunisia and its relationship with age, gender, and area of residence.
Comparisons with other studies show that the prevalence of astigmatism in Tunisia is higher than in some countries. The prevalence of astigmatism increased with age but not gender. The majority of schoolchildren had with-the-rule astigmatism.
Twenty-eight public primary schools (clusters) from urban and rural settings were randomly selected and a total of 6192 students aged 6–14-years old were enrolled.
The prevalence of astigmatism was 6.67% (413 students) – 4.27% in rural areas and 7.67% in urban areas. There was no significant association between the students area of residence and astigmatism.
The prevalence of astigmatism was 5.88% in boys and 7.51% in girls. There was no statistically significant difference in gender; however it significantly increased with age.
In summary, the prevalence of astigmatism among primary school children in Tunisia is lower than other studies. WTR astigmatism was predominant in our study. ATR astigmatism was significantly higher in males.
To improve our understanding of astigmatism, it is important to understand the distribution of all the components of astigmatism, their association with each other, age-related changes, and factors that influence the compensation between corneal and internal astigmatism.