June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Nutritional Factors and Myopia: An NHANES Analysis
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elise Noel Harb
    Vision science, UC Berkeley College of Optometry, Berkeley, California, United States
  • Christine Wildsoet
    Vision science, UC Berkeley College of Optometry, Berkeley, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Elise Harb, None; Christine Wildsoet, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NH Grant K12 EY017269
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 75. doi:
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      Elise Noel Harb, Christine Wildsoet; Nutritional Factors and Myopia: An NHANES Analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):75.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : The rise in the prevalence of myopia has been too rapid to be explained by genetic factors alone. While relatively little attention has been paid to the possible role of nutrition in myopia, results from studies are conflicting. The large US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dataset was used in this analysis to investigate the relationship(s) between several nutrition-related factors, including body metrics, and the presence and magnitude of myopia.

Methods : Cross-sectional NHANES survey datasets (2003-2008) including refractive error, demographic, body metrics and nutritional data were analyzed. Using weighted multi-variable models, body height and mass index (BMI), participant demographics (ethnicity/sex), serum Vitamin D and glucose/insulin levels and caffeine intake (calculated from a standardized questionnaire) were evaluated for possible relationship(s) to the presence and magnitude of myopia (SER of -0.75D or worse), as determined by non-cycloplegic Nidek auto-refraction.

Results : Data from a total of 6,913 ethnically-diverse Americans, aged 12-25 years with a range of sph. eq. refractive error (SER, +8.5 to -20.25D) were analyzed. The overall prevalence of myopia in the population was 34.3% (females: 39.5%, males: 33.4%, p=0.0014) and myopic participants had a mean(±SE) SER of -2.67±2.08 D. Neither body metrics (BMI and height) nor nutritional factors (serum Vitamin D, glucose/insulin levels and caffeine intake) were found to be associated with myopia presence or magnitude (all p-values > 0.13). However, female sex and older age showed weak associations with more myopic refractive errors (-0.05 D more myopia per 1 year increase in age; females more myopic than males by -0.33 D, p<0.05).

Conclusions : Although limited by the age of participants, this analysis offers further evidence against a role for nutritional factors or surrogate body metrics as risk factors for the presence nor magnitude of myopia.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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