Study Title:

Myopia in school-aged children with preterm birth: the roles of time spent outdoors and serum vitamin D.

Study Abstract

Aims: To analyse the factors associated with myopia in school-aged children with preterm birth and with or without retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Methods: Children born prematurely between January 2010 and December 2011 were enrolled in this cross-sectional study when they reached school age between April 2017 and June 2018 in a referral centre. The main parameters were cycloplegic refraction, time spent outdoors and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration.

Results: A total of 99 eyes from 99 children with a mean age of 6.8 years underwent analysis. The average time spent outdoors was significantly higher in the non-myopic group (0.9 ± 0.5 hours/day) than in the myopic group (0.7 ± 0.3 hours/day) (p = 0.032). After adjustment for age, sex, number of myopic parents, ROP severity, near-work time and serum 25(OH)D concentration, more time spent outdoors was correlated with a lower odds of myopia (OR, 0.13 per additional hour per day; 95% CI, 0.02-0.98; p = 0.048). Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were similar between the myopic and non-myopic groups (49.7 ± 13.6 and 48.8 ± 14.0 nmol/mL; p = 0.806) and were not correlated with spherical equivalence power (r = -0.09; p = 0.418). Vitamin D insufficiency was present in 57% of the participants.

Conclusions: Among preterm children with or without ROP, more time spent outdoors was associated with lower odds of myopia. The serum 25(OH)D concentration was not associated with myopia, but a high proportion of the participants had insufficient levels.

Study Information

Br J Ophthalmol. 2021 Apr;105(4):468-472. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2019-315663. Epub 2020 Jun 19. PMID: 32561534.

Full Study