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Delayed Diagnosis of Amblyopia in Children of Lower Socioeconomic Families: The Hong Kong Children Eye Study.

Zhang XJ, Wong PP, Wong ES, Kam KW, Yip BHK, Zhang Y, Zhang W, Young AL, Chen LJ, Ip P, Tham C, Pang CP, Yam J. Delayed Diagnosis of Amblyopia in Children of Lower Socioeconomic Families: The Hong Kong Children Eye Study. Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2021 Oct 8; 1-8.

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AIMS: To determine the prevalence of amblyopia and the factors associated with delayed diagnosis among school-aged children in Hong Kong. METHODS: Completed comprehensive ophthalmoscopic examinations were conducted among 4.273 children aged 6-8 years in the population-based Hong Kong Children Eye Study. New and previous diagnoses of amblyopia were identified. Socioeconomic status was surveyed through questionnaires. RESULTS: According to criteria from the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS), amblyopia was present in 43 out of 4,273 children (1.01%; 95% CI, 0.71-1.31). Among them, 33 (0.77%) were newly detected cases that were more likely from families living in Public Rental Housing or subdivided flats (OR, 4.22; =  .012), with lower paternal (OR 6.68, =  .008) and maternal education levels (OR, 4.38; =  .039). Multivariate analysis revealed associations of amblyopia with hyperopia ( = +2.00D; OR, 6.23; 95% CI, 2.86-13.56, <  .001), astigmatism ( = +2.00D; OR, 24.88; 95% CI, 10.69-57.91, <  .001) and anisometropia ( = 2.00D; OR, 14.49; 95% CI, 5.93-37.63, <  .001). CONCLUSION: These children with delayed diagnoses of amblyopia were more likely to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Public education aimed at increasing awareness and utilization of child vision screening among such families is needed.

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