Study Title:

Risk factors for high myopia: a 22-year follow-up study from childhood to adulthood.

Study Abstract

Purpose: To determine the effect of the definition of high myopia on its prevalence and risk factors for high myopia.

Methods: A total of 240 myopic schoolchildren (119 boys and 121 girls) at the mean age of 10.9 years (range 8.8-12.8 years) were recruited to a randomized clinical trial of myopia treatment among children from 3rd- and 5th grades of school referred for an eye examination due to poor distant vision and having no previous spectacles. Clinical follow-ups, including refraction with cycloplegia, were conducted annually at 3 years [third follow-up here = clinical follow-up 1, (n = 237)], and thereafter twice at approximately 10-year intervals [clinical follow-ups 2 (n = 179) and 3, (n = 134)]. Additional refraction values between follow-ups 2 and 3 were received from ophthalmologists and opticians' prescriptions and records. The most recent adulthood refraction measure available was taken as the final refraction value for 204 (85%) of the original cohort [mean follow-up time (±standard deviation) 22.1 (±3.9) years]. Parental myopia, time spent on reading and close work, watching TV and outdoor activities were assessed with a questionnaire at the clinical follow-ups. The influence of different definitions of high myopia on its prevalence was analysed. The associations of different factors with high myopia were investigated.

Results: Mean spherical equivalent (SE) at baseline was -1.43 (±0.60) D, ranging from -0.38 D to -3.00 D. At follow-up end, mean SE of the more myopic eye was -5.29 (±1.95) D, ranging from -1.00 D to -11.25 D. High myopia prevalence with the definitions SE < -6.00 D in the right eye and SE ≤ -6.00 D or ≤-5.00 D in either eye was 24%, 32% and 52%, respectively. In this study, high myopia was defined as spherical equivalent (SE) ≤ -6.00 D in either eye. If both parents were myopic, the odds ratio (OR) of having high myopia was 3.9 (95% CI: 1.5-10.4). Younger age at baseline predicted higher prevalence of high myopia; baseline ages between 8.8 and 9.7 and between 11.9 and 12.8 years gave prevalences 65% and 7%. Higher myopia at baseline, higher myopic progression between the first follow-ups and more time spent on reading and close work as compared with time spent outdoors were associated with high myopia.

Conclusion: About 32% of the children receiving first spectacles for myopia between ages of 8.8-12.8 years had high myopia (SE ≤ -6.00 D in either eye) in adulthood. Different definitions of high myopia ranging between -5 D and -6 D lead to large differences in prevalence. A generally accepted definition of high myopia is thus needed. Parental myopia, age at baseline, myopic progression during the first post onset year, and more time spent on reading and close work and less on outdoor activities in childhood were associated with adulthood high myopia.

Study Information

Acta Ophthalmol. 2019 Aug;97(5):510-518. doi: 10.1111/aos.13964. Epub 2018 Nov 20. PMID: 30460746.

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