Education, socioeconomic status, and ocular dimensions in Chinese adults: the Tanjong Pagar Survey.
AIM: To relate indices of education, occupation, and socioeconomic status to ocular dimensions and refraction in an adult population. METHODS: A population based, cross sectional survey of adult Chinese aged 40-81 years residing in the Tanjong Pagar district in Singapore. Ocular dimensions, including axial length, anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, and vitreous chamber depth, were measured using an A-mode ultrasound device. Corneal radius of curvature and refraction were determined with an autorefractor, with refraction further refined subjectively, and lens nuclear opacity was graded clinically using the modified Lens Opacity Classification System III score. Data on education, occupation, income, and housing type were obtained from a standardised interview. RESULTS: Biometric data were available on 951 phakic subjects. After controlling for age, sex, occupation, income and housing type, higher education was associated with longer axial lengths (0.60 mm; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34, 0.85, for every 10 years of education), longer vitreous chambers (0.53 mm; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.77), and more myopic refractions (-1.50 dioptres, 95% CI: -2.08, -0.92). Adjustment for axial length attenuated the refractive association of education (-0.68 dioptre, 95% CI: -1.14, -0.21). Similarly, near work related occupations (managers, professionals, and office workers) and higher income were independently associated with longer axial lengths, longer vitreous chambers, and more myopic refractions, and adjustment for axial length attenuated the refractive associations. CONCLUSIONS: Adults with greater education, near work related occupations, and higher income are more likely to have longer axial lengths and vitreous chambers, and more myopic refractions. The refractive associations of education, occupation, and income are largely explained by variations in axial length.
Wong, TY; Foster, PJ; Johnson, GJ; Seah, SKL
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