The Prevalence of Amblyopia and Eye Diseases among Pediatric Jewish Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel: An Observational Cross-sectional Study

Tal Yahalomi, Joseph Pikkel, Roee Arnon, Daniel Malchi, Aviv Vidan, Michael Kinori

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: In developed countries, amblyopia has an estimated prevalence rate of 1-4%, depending on the socioeconomic gradient. Previous studies performed on pediatric populations in Ethiopia demonstrated amblyopia rates up to 16.7%. Objectives: To assess rates of amblyopia, refractive errors, strabismus, and other eye pathologies among Ethiopian-born children and adolescents who immigrated to Israel compared to Israeli-born children. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study included children and adolescents 5-19 years of age who immigrated to Israel up to 2 years before data collection and lived in an immigration center. Demographic data and general health status of the children were obtained from the parents, and a comprehensive ophthalmologic examination was performed. Results were compared to Israeli-born children. Results: The study included 223 children and adolescents: 87 Ethiopian-born and 136 Israeli-born. The rate of amblyopia in the Ethiopian-born group vs. Israeli-born was 3.4% and 4.4%, respectively. Even after controlling for age, there was still no significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.99). Conclusions: Despite originating from a country with limited resources and fewer medical facilities, the amblyopia rate in Jewish Ethiopian immigrants was not higher, and even mildly lower, compared to Israeli-born children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-281
    Number of pages4
    JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
    Volume25
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

    Keywords

    • Ethiopia
    • Israel
    • amblyopia
    • refractive error

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine

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