Purpose: Ocular biometry varies within groups of emmetropic, hyperopic or myopic children. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of foetal and infant growth on ocular biometry in early childhood, to determine the most important period for this association, and to examine genetic overlap with height and birth weight. Methods: 5931 children (50.1% girls) from a population-based prospective birth cohort study underwent intra-uterine and infant growth measurements at second and third trimester, and from birth to 72 months. An ophthalmic examination including axial length (mm) and corneal radius of curvature (mm) was performed at 6 years of age. The associations between prenatal and postnatal growth variables and axial length and corneal radius of curvature were assessed with conditional linear regression analyses. Weighted genetic risk scores for birth weight and height were calculated and causality was tested with Mendelian randomisation. Results: Weight and length from mid-pregnancy to 2 years of age were most important prognostic factors for axial length and corneal radius of curvature at age 4.9–9 years (mean 6.2 years S.D. 0.5). For height (Standard deviation score), the association with axial length and corneal radius of curvature was highest for the measurement at 12 months (β 0.171 p < 0.001 and 0.070 p < 0.001). The genetic height and birth weight risk scores were both significantly associated with ocular biometry. Conclusions: Larger neonates had longer axial length and greater corneal radius of curvature. Growth during pregnancy and 2 years postnatally is the most important period underlying this association and may be partly genetically determined by genes associated with height.

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Keywords epidemiology, genetics, myopia, optics, orthokeratology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/opo.12630, hdl.handle.net/1765/117567
Journal Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id erc/648268 - Towards solving myopia: from genes to pathways using an integrated approach (MYOP-PATH)
Tideman, J.W.L, Polling, J.R, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Vingerling, J.R, & Klaver, C.C.W. (2019). Growth in foetal life, infancy, and early childhood and the association with ocular biometry. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 39(4), 245–252. doi:10.1111/opo.12630