Screening and treating amblyopia: Are we making a difference?

Yair Morad*, Erez Bakshi, Avi Levin, Oren G. Binyamini, David Zadok, Isaac Avni, Yosefa Bar Dayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To determine the rate of amblyopia in native Jewish Israelis compared with those who immigrated from the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) after they were 10 years of age. METHODS. Health records of all 16-year-old subjects examined in the Israel Defense Forces Recruitment Center between 1998 and 2003 were analyzed. The number of subjects with best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 6/12 or less in at least one eye among native Israelis and among those who immigrated to Israel from the U.S.S.R. after they were 10 years of age was determined. Subjects who had any ocular disease except cataract, corneal opacity, strabismus, or ptosis were excluded. RESULTS. Of 305,712 subjects examined between 1998 and 2003, 292,255 were enrolled in the study. Of those, 260,186 (89%) were born in Israel and 32,069 (11%) were born in the U.S.S.R. and immigrated to Israel after they were 10 years of age. There were 2565 (0.98%) native Israelis and 483 (1.5%) immigrants who had BCVA of 6/12 or less in at least one eye (χ2 test, P < 0.00001). The rate of amblyopia among subjects who had refractive errors was 14.6% among immigrants, as opposed to 8.0% among native Israelis (P < 0.0001), whereas amblyopia rates among those with strabismus, cataract, or ptosis were similar in native Israelis and immigrants (34.4%, 38.6%, 12.8% as opposed to 34%, 37.5%, 15.4%, respectively, P = 0.5-0.61). CONCLUSIONS. The difference in the rate of refractive amblyopia as opposed to strabismic and deprivation amblyopia may be due to the difference in vision screening methods between both countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2088
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


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