Prevalence and Risk Factors for Myopia in Second-Grade Primary School Children in Taipei: A Population-Based Study
High myopia is associated with multiple ocular morbidities that may lead to irreversible blindness. Because high myopia in an adult is thought to be related to onset of myopia in very early childhood, detecting myopia early and working to improve modifiable risk factors may help reduce the development of high myopia.
This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of myopia and associated risk factors in second-grade primary school children in Taipei, Taiwan.
The prevalence of myopia in the second graders was 36.4%. After adjustment for other characteristics, the following variables were significantly associated with a higher risk of myopia: male sex; suburban residence vs. urban; lower maternal education level; the presence of myopia in one parent or both parents; time spent on near-work activity every day; shorter visual distance when doing near-work activity; and participation in an after-school tutorial program.
By contrast, resting after 30 minutes of near-work activity and spending more time participating in outdoor activities on weekends were significantly associated with a lower risk of myopia.
Findings indicate that lifestyle and reading habits impact the development of myopia during early childhood.
Behavior modification, such as more time spent outside during the day and limited near-work activity, may be a feasible strategy for curbing the increasingly high prevalence of myopia in Taipei.