July 29, 2016
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Increase in myopia found among college students

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Researchers saw a rise in myopia among first-year college students, from 23.4% in 2002 to 41.3% in 2014, according to a study in Optometry and Vision Science.
Researchers believe the increase in myopia prevalence in these Portuguese students from the University of Minho could be related to the lifestyle changes of the academic population.

The populations studied across the 12 years were similar in age and gender distribution. The cohort in 2002 included 111 students and in 2014 included 75.

In 2014, the students’ mean refractive error was -0.77 D ± 1.79 D, and axial length was 23.74 mm ± 1.19 mm, with a myopia prevalence of 41.3%. In the 2002 population, mean refractive error was 0.01 D ± 1.53 D and the axial length was 23.40 mm ± 0.3 mm with, a myopia prevalence of 23.4%.

Researchers found a 1.8-fold increase in myopia prevalence and a myopic shift of 0.78 D. Also, a matching increase in axial length in dioptric equivalence terms was found.

These results strengthen the relationship between axial length and myopia and are similar to results published previously, the researchers wrote.

Researchers also found that among students 16 years to 24 years old, computer device usage increased from 55.2% in 2002 to 98.0% in 2014, and Internet usage increased from 42.8% to 98.0% in the same time period. – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.