2021 Winner

Dr Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad

« Refractive error and visual development in the born in Bradford children cohort »

This project will investigate the visual development of the Born-in-Bradford (BiB) cohort (a cohort of up to 4,0001 children currently aged 11-12 that were born within the greater Bradford area, and whom have vision screening data previously collected at the ages of 4-5 years old) now that they are at an age when myopia (short-sightedness) typically develops.2 Myopia leads to the constant requirement for vision correction, and an increased risk of developing sight-threatening conditions such as retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy in adulthood.3 Myopia has a complex aetiology of genetic and environmental influences,4,5 and its development is not completely understood, including the differences in prevalence reported by large studies between children of different ethnicities6 (with genetic risk factors deemed fairly similar7).


Accessing the BiB cohort which has environmental, socioeconomic, and genetic data available for research use provides a powerful means for studying complex myopia aetiology and visual development at a critical period. Previous reports using the BiB cohort have found that there are a disproportionate number of children with astigmatism in the cohort, of which many children were uncorrected and warrants further study and monitoring. Although two large UK datasets with associated vision data exist, they either consist predominantly of Caucasian participants (over 90%), or do not have any genetic data available for analysis.2,6 In this study, we will collect vision data from the diverse BiB cohort,7 to allow us to examine whether national vision screening conducted at the ages of 4-5 is useful in predicting refractive errors (optical prescriptions) at this critical age, and explore the cohort for new genetic and environmental factors that may predispose to myopia within this population. In turn we hope that this project will contribute to the knowledge of myopia development and risk factors for childhood myopia development.

Project Aims

  1. To determine the prevalence of myopia and other refractive errors within the BiB cohort, and whether national vision screening is valuable in identifying children who go on to develop myopia or significant refractive errors
  2. To explore the genetic and environmental associations with myopia and other refractive errors within the BiB cohort, and determine their predictive utility within children