Risk factors for fast and slow myopia progression in a randomized controlled trial of 0.01% atropine eye drops

ARVO Abstract Number: 812 – C0495

AuthorBlock: Matilda Biba1, Gareth Lingham1, Emmanuel Kobia-Acquah1, Ian Flitcroft1,2, James Loughman1


1Centre for Eye Research Ireland (CERI), Technological University Dublin, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; 2Ophthalmology, Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland;

Summary of paper :

Myopia, also known as near sightedness, is a condition where a person can see nearby objects clearly but objects at a distance appear blurry. Myopia is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in children, with rates as high as 80-90% in some Asian populations. High myopia (defined as a spherical equivalent of -6.00 diopters or worse) is associated with an increased risk of vision-threatening complications such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and myopic maculopathy. Therefore, identifying risk factors for myopia progression is of utmost importance.

The Myopia Outcome Study of Atropine in Children (MOSAIC) is a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial of 0.01% atropine eye drops to investigate their efficacy in slowing myopia progression in children aged 6-16 years. The study found that younger age and more time spent reading at baseline were significant risk factors for fast spherical equivalent refraction (SER) and axial length (AXL) progression. In contrast, only older age was significantly associated with a higher risk of slow AXL progression.

The findings of this study are important as they highlight the importance of lifestyle factors in myopia progression. Spending more time outdoors and less time reading have previously been shown to be protective against myopia, and this study provides further evidence to support this. Additionally, the study found that atropine eye drops were effective in slowing myopia progression, which is consistent with previous studies. Atropine is thought to work by inhibiting the action of muscarinic receptors in the eye, which in turn slows down the growth of the eye and reduces myopia progression.

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