Body Stature Growth Trajectories during Childhood and the Development of Myopia

Kate Northstone, Jeremy A Guggenheim, Laura D Howe, Kate Tilling, Lavinia Paternoster, John P Kemp, George McMahon, Cathy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Stature at a particular age can be considered the cumulative result of growth during a number of preceding growth trajectory periods. We investigated whether height and weight growth trajectories from birth to age 10 years were related to refractive error at ages 11 and 15 years, and eye size at age 15 years.

DESIGN: Prospective analysis in a birth cohort.

PARTICIPANTS: Children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) U.K. birth cohort (minimum N = 2676).

METHODS: Growth trajectories between birth and 10 years were modeled from a series of height and weight measurements (N = 6815). Refractive error was assessed by noncycloplegic autorefraction at ages 11 and 15 years (minimum N = 4737). Axial length (AXL) and radius of corneal curvature were measured with an IOLMaster (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Welwyn Garden City, U.K.) at age 15 years (minimum N = 2676). Growth trajectories and an allelic score for 180 genetic variants associated with adult height were tested for association with refractive error and eye size.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Noncycloplegic autorefraction at ages 11 and 15 years, and AXL and corneal curvature at age 15 years.

RESULTS: Height growth trajectory during the linear phase between 2.5 and 10 years was negatively associated with refractive error at 11 and 15 years (P<0.001), but explained <0.5% of intersubject variation. Height and weight growth trajectories, especially shortly after birth, were positively associated with AXL and corneal curvature (P<0.001), predicting 1% to 5% of trait variation. Height growth after 2.5 years was not associated with corneal curvature, whereas the association with AXL continued up to 10 years. The height allelic score was associated with corneal curvature (P = 0.03) but not with refractive error or AXL.

CONCLUSIONS: Up to the age of 10 years, shared growth mechanisms contribute to scaling of eye and body size but minimally to the development of myopia.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-73.e1
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Myopia
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refractive Errors
  • Regression Analysis


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