Refractive Error and Visual Impairment in School-Age Children in Gombak District, Malaysia

  • The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment in school-age children in Gombak District.

  • This was a population-based, cross-sectional survey of 4634 children aged 7 to 15 years.

  • The prevalence of uncorrected (unaided), presenting, and best-corrected visual impairment (visual acuity ≤20/40 in the better eye) was 17.1%, 10.1%, and 1.4%, respectively.

  • More than half of those in need of corrective spectacles were without them.

  • In eyes with reduced vision, refractive error was the cause in 87.0%, amblyopia in 2.0%, other causes in 0.6%.

  • Myopia was associated with older age, female gender, higher parental education, and Chinese ethnicity.

  • Hyperopia (≥2.00 D) with retinoscopy varied from 3.8% in 7-year-olds, 5.0% with autorefraction, to less than 1% by age 15, with either measurement method.

  • Hyperopia was associated with younger age and “other” ethnicity.

  • Astigmatism (≥0.75 D) was present in 15.7% of children with retinoscopy and in 21.3% with autorefraction.

  • Visual impairment among school-age children in Gombak District of Malaysia is mainly caused by myopia.

This article was identified as a reference for a VII-commissioned systematic review on the Impact of URE on Children.

Publication date

December 7, 2016




Goh, P.P., Abqariyah, Y., Pokharel, G.P. and Ellwein, L.B.
Share this