Prevalence of asthenopia in children: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Dutra, Gisele F.; Kaufmann, Cristina C.; Pretto, Alessandra D. B.; Albernaz, Elaine P.
July 2015
Jornal de Pediatria;Jul/Aug2015, Vol. 91 Issue 4, p320
Academic Journal
Objective: To estimate the prevalence of asthenopia in 0---18 year-old children through a sys- tematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence studies. Sources: Inclusion criteria were population-based studies from 1960 to May of 2014 reporting the prevalence of asthenopia in children. The search was performed independently by two reviewers in the PubMed, EMBASE, and LILACS databases, with no language restriction. This systematic review was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines and the PRISMA Statement. Downs and Black score was used for quality assessment. Summary of findings: Out of 1692 potentially relevant citations retrieved from electronic databases and searches of reference lists, 26 were identified as potentially eligible. Five of these studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising a total of 2465 subjects. Pooled prevalence of asthenopia was 19.7% (12.4---26.4%). The majority of children with asthenopia did not present visual acuity or refraction abnormalities. The largest study evaluated 1448 children aged 6 years and estimated a prevalence of 12.6%. Associated risk factors were not clearly established. Conclusion: Although asthenopia is a frequent and relevant clinical problem in childhood, with potential consequences for learning, the scarcity of studies about the prevalence and clinical impact of asthenopia hinders the effective planning of public health measures.


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