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Screen Exposure during Early Life and the Increased Risk of Astigmatism among Preschool Children: Findings from Longhua Child Cohort Study

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Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Health Assessment, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition and Health, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
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School of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 4059 QLD, Australia
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Department of Information Management, Xinhua College of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072216 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 March 2020 / Revised: 19 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
Screen media usage has become increasingly prevalent in daily life with children being exposed to screens at an early age. This is a growing public health concern with evidence linking screen exposure to detrimental health outcomes, whereas relationship between screen exposure and the presence of astigmatism among preschoolers remains unknown, thus we aimed to resolve this issue. During the 2017 survey of the Longhua Child Cohort Study, data of 29,595 preschoolers were collected via a caregiver-reported questionnaire regarding socio-demographics, screen exposure and refraction. Cox regression models were adopted to generate adjusted prevalence ratios (APR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to estimate the association between early screen exposure and astigmatism. 28,029 preschoolers were included in the final analysis. After adjustment for potential confounders, screen exposure during early life was significantly associated with the increased risk of astigmatism (APR and 95% CI: 2.25, 1.76–2.88), and the greatest risk was observed in the period from birth to 1-year (APR and 95% CI: 3.10, 2.41–3.98). The risk of astigmatism increased with both the total years of exposure and the average daily duration of screen exposure. Our findings suggested that preschoolers who were exposed to screens during early life might have an increased risk of astigmatism. View Full-Text
Keywords: screen exposure; astigmatism; preschool children; early life; cross-sectional study screen exposure; astigmatism; preschool children; early life; cross-sectional study
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Huang, L.; Yang, G.-Y.; Schmid, K.L.; Chen, J.-Y.; Li, C.-G.; He, G.-H.; Ruan, Z.-L.; Chen, W.-Q. Screen Exposure during Early Life and the Increased Risk of Astigmatism among Preschool Children: Findings from Longhua Child Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2216.

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