Research

Association of Myopia with cognitive function among one million adolescents

Myopia, a prevalent visual impairment, is associated with cognitive function in adolescents, as evidenced by a population-based cross-sectional study of 1,022,425 Israeli candidates for military service aged 16.5–18 years. The study investigated verbal and non-verbal intelligence and their correlation with myopia. Participants with the highest cognitive function scores (CFS) had 1.85-fold higher odds of myopia and 2.73-fold higher odds of high myopia. In contrast, those with the lowest CFS had lower odds of myopia. Verbal intelligence showed a stronger association with myopia than non-verbal components. The study suggests a consistent and independent link between cognitive function, especially verbal intelligence, and myopia in adolescents. Notably, the association persisted across different levels of myopia severity. The findings do however raise questions about the role of educational activities, particularly reading, in myopia development, a potential source of the observed correlation, urging further research for validation and exploration of mechanisms. The study's limitations include a cross-sectional design and the absence of parental refractive error data.

Publication date

May 8, 2020

Publication

BMC Public Health

Authors

Jacob Megreli; Adiel Barak; Maxim Bez; Dana Bez; Hagai Levine
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