Tell me what your ethnic background is, I’ll tell you how you see
Wednesday, September 11 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
A new study confirms that different ethnic groups see differently.
Investigators in California studied 1,501 non-Hispanic white children and 1,507 Asian children aged 6 to 72 months, in addition to interviewing their parents about their lifestyle.
They found the prevalence of myopia to be 1.20% among white children and 3.98% for Asian children. The prevalence of hyperopia was 25.7% in white children and 13.5% in Asian children. Asian girls were more likely to have hyperopia than boys (16.2% vs. 10.8%). Finally, the prevalence of astigmatism (≥ 1.5 diopters) was 6.33% in white children and 8.29% in Asian children. The prevalence of astigmatism of 3.00 diopters or more was 0.73% in white children and 1.19% in Asian children.
After comparing these findings with data from previous research (MEPEDS), the investigators found that myopia and astigmatism are less common among white children than among Asian, Hispanic and black children.
Genetics, as well as lifestyle, partly explain the differences. According to the researchers, Asian parents early on encourage activities that involve near vision, such as reading, whereas white children participate in more outdoor activities, such as playing sports, which involves far vision.