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Meta-analysis (n = 700,000) finds that children with myopia experience higher levels of depression and anxiety

They participate in fewer physical activities, have lower academic achievement, and are more socially isolated.

A new paper published in the Ophthalmology journal has found that children with myopia (nearsightedness) experience significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than their peers without vision impairment.

This systematic review and meta-analysis, conducted by 16 researchers from universities in the US, UK, China and Ireland,  summarised 36 previous studies conducted between 1986 and 2020 to establish whether vision impairment, ocular morbidity, and their treatment are associated with depression and anxiety in children.

In total, the 36 studies that formed the meta-analysis included almost 700,000 participants. The average age of the children in the studies was 15.

Vision-impaired children experienced significantly higher scores of depression (Standard Mean Difference of 0.57) and anxiety (SMD 0.61) than normally-sighted children.

In particular, myopic children experienced higher scores of depression (SMD 0.59) than normally-sighted children.

Strabismus surgery significantly improved symptoms of depression (SMD: 0.59) and anxiety (SMD: 0.69) in children.

See the paper here or download the PDF →

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