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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 553 | ID: 2017-553

Green Spaces and Spectacles Use in Schoolchildren

Payam Dadvand(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain, payam.dadvand@isglobal.org), Jordi Sunyer(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Mar Alvarez-Pedrerol(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Albert Dalmau-Bueno(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Mikel Esnaola(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Mireia Gascon(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Montserrat De Castro Pascual(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Xavier BasagaƱa(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain), Ian G. Morgan(Research School of Biology, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Australian National University, Australia, State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, China), Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen(IsGLOBAL, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Spain, Ciber on Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain)
Background/Aim: Myopia is one of the major causes of low visual acuity during childhood, and hence of the need for spectacles. Myopia is generally more prevalent in urban areas where children are often less exposed to green spaces than in rural areas. This study aimed to evaluate the association between exposure to green space and use of spectacles (as a surrogate measure for myopia) in schoolchildren.
Methods: This study was based on a cohort of 2727 schoolchildren (7-10 years old) recruited from 39 primary schools in Barcelona (2012-2015). We assessed exposure to green spaces by characterizing outdoor surrounding greenness at home and school and during commuting using satellite data on greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). We also obtained data on the annual average time children spent playing in green spaces through questionnaires. Cross-sectional analyses were conducted based on prevalent cases of spectacles at baseline data collection campaign and longitudinal analyses based on incident cases of spectacles use during the three-year period between the baseline and last data collection campaigns.
Results: An interquartile range increase in exposure to green space at home, school, and commuting was associated with 15%-30% decrease in spectacles use in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Similarly, in longitudinal analyses an interquartile increase in time playing in green spaces was associated with a 28% reduction in the risk of spectacles use.
Conclusions: Risk of spectacles use by primary schoolchildren was inversely associated with outdoor green space at their living environment and time spent by them playing in green spaces.