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Donald O. Mutti, Kelsey A. Shiley, Kristina M. Haworth, Karla Zadnik; Dietary Vitamin D Consumption in Young Adult Myopes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2702.
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Time spent outdoors has been shown to be protective, i.e., it reduces the probability of the onset of myopia in children. We evaluated the hypothesis that the physiologic basis of the protective effect of more time outdoors could be due to increased levels of vitamin D by comparing the dietary consumption of vitamin D between myopes and non-myopes.
The Block 2005 Food Frequency Questionnaire was administered to 28 myopes (at least –0.75D of myopia in each meridian on cycloplegic autorefraction) and to 19 non-myopes (at least +0.25D but less than +2.00D of hyperopia in each meridian) between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Subjects were in good health with no diabetes or syndromic myopia. We made the assumption that person-specific dietary patterns extend to some degree from childhood into young adulthood. Supplement use was excluded because the median time of use was relatively recent at three years compared to the median time since myopia onset of 13 years. Dietary consumption of vitamin D was compared between groups through ANOVA controlling for age and gender.
The median consumption of vitamin D for the sample was 156 IU per day (25th to 75th percentile = 85 to 232 IU). Dietary consumption of vitamin D varied by gender (p = 0.012) and by age (p = 0.041). Females consumed 71 IU less vitamin D per day than males. Daily consumption decreased by 18 IU per year. Gender was not associated with myopia (p = 0.86). Adjusted for gender, myopes consumed 74 IU less vitamin D per day than non-myopes (140 IU vs. 214 IU; p = 0.008). Neither age nor body mass index were significant covariates of vitamin D intake in a model with gender and refractive error group.
Myopic teens and young adults consume less dietary vitamin D than non-myopes independent of gender, age, and body mass index. These results do not establish that vitamin D is the physiologic basis of the protective effect of time outdoors on the risk of myopia, but they are consistent with that hypothesis. Future studies should evaluate a more extensive panel of factors related to time outdoors in addition to establishing whether there is biological relevance for vitamin D with respect to myopia.
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