Distribution of Axial Length in Australians of Different Age Groups, Ethnicities, and Refractive Errors

Vinay Kumar Nilagiri, Samantha Sze Yee Lee, Gareth Lingham, Jason Charng, Seyhan Yazar, Alex W. Hewitt, Lyn R. Griffiths, Paul G. Sanfilippo, Tzu Hsun Tsai, David A. Mackey

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Treatments are available to slow myopic axial elongation. Understanding normal axial length (AL) distributions will assist clinicians in choosing appropriate treatment for myopia. We report the distribution of AL in Australians of different age groups and refractive errors. Methods: Retrospectively collected spherical equivalent refraction (SER) and AL data of 5938 individuals aged 5 to 89 years from 8 Australian studies were included. Based on the SER, participants were classified as emmetropes, myopes, and hyperopes. Two regression model parameterizations (piece-wise and restricted cubic splines [RCS]) were applied to the cross-sectional data to analyze the association between age and AL. These results were compared with longitudinal data from the Raine Study where the AL was measured at age 20 (baseline) and 28 years. Results: A piece-wise regression model (with 1 knot) showed that myopes had a greater increase in AL before 18 years by 0.119 mm/year (P < 0.001) and after 18 years by 0.011 mm/year (P < 0.001) compared to emmetropes and hyperopes, with the RCS model (with 3 knots) showing similar results. The longitudinal data from the Raine Study revealed that, when compared to emmetropes, only myopes showed a significant change in the AL in young adulthood (by 0.016 mm/year, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The AL of myopic eyes increases more rapidly in childhood and slightly in early adulthood. Further studies of longitudinal changes in AL, particularly in childhood, are required to guide myopia interventions. Translational Relevance: The axial length of myopic eyes increases rapidly in childhood, and there is a minimal increase in the axial length in non-myopic eyes after 18 years of age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)14
Number of pages1
JournalTranslational vision science & technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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