Researchers recently discovered that a simple model incorporating age, sex and refractive status can accurately predict high myopia when a child is between 12 and 13 years of age. However, genetic data was of limited value, they noted.

This prospective longitudinal study included 1,063 Chinese twins. The team used five linear, mixed-effect models consisting of different combinations of age, gender, genetic factors (parental myopia) and environmental factors (near work, outdoor activity) to predict myopia development based on the spherical equivalent (SE) at baseline and at the second and third follow-up visits.

The team found that age, gender, parents’ SE and genetic risk scores were all associated with the final SE measurement, while time outdoors and near-work were not. They note that incorporating more follow-up data into the models yielded better performances across all models.

The researchers also discovered that the model consisting of age and gender performed well when predicting high myopia at age 18 but did not perform significantly better with the addition of genetic data.

Chen Y, Han X, Guo X, et al. Contribution of genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms in myopia prediction in children: findings from a 10-year cohort study of 1063 Chinese twin children. Ophthalmol. July 1, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].