To determine the sex- and ethnicity-specific prevalence of color vision deficiency (CVD) in black, Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white preschool children. Population-based, cross-sectional study. The Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study is a population-based evaluation of the prevalence of vision disorders in children in Southern California. A total of 5960 subjects 30 to 72 months of age were recruited for the study, of whom 4177 were able to complete color vision testing (1265 black, 812 Asian, 1280 Hispanic, and 820 non-Hispanic white). Color vision testing was performed using Color Vision Testing Made Easy color plates (Home Vision Care, Gulf Breeze, FL), and diagnostic confirmatory testing was performed using the Waggoner HRR Diagnostic Test color plates (Home Vision Care). Testability of color vision in preschool children between 30 and 72 months of age and prevalence of CVD stratified by age, sex, and ethnicity. Testability was 17% in children younger than 37 months of age, increasing to 57% in children 37 to 48 months of age, 89% in children 49 to 60 months of age, and 98% in children 61 to 72 months of age. The prevalence of CVD among boys was 1.4% for black, 3.1% for Asian, 2.6% for Hispanic, and 5.6% for non-Hispanic white children; the prevalence in girls was 0.0% to 0.5% for all ethnicities. The ethnic difference in CVD was statistically significant between black and non-Hispanic white children (P = 0.0003) and between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children (P = 0.02). In boys, most CVD cases were either deutan (51%) or protan (34%); 32% were classified as mild, 15% as moderate, and 41% as severe. Testability for CVD in preschool children is high by 4 years of age. The prevalence of CVD in preschool boys varies by ethnicity, with the highest prevalence in non-Hispanic white and lowest in black children.

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