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


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


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