Purpose: To compare and contrast the prevalence of myopia and other refractive errors in Xiamen city, Xiamen countryside (Southern China), and Singapore.
Methods: One hundred thirty-two schoolchildren aged 6 to 7 years from Xiamen city, 104 from Xiamen countryside, and 146 from Singapore city were recruited to join the study. Cycloplegic autorefraction, keratometry, and biometry measurements were performed on all children.
Results: The prevalence of myopia was 12.3% in Singapore city, 9.1% in Xiamen city, and 3.9% in Xiamen countryside. The prevalence of astigmatism was higher in Singapore compared with Xiamen. The rates of hyperopia and anisometropia were similar in all three locations.
Conclusions: The myopia rate in Singapore city was higher than in Xiamen city; the lowest rates were found in Xiamen countryside. As the Chinese population from all three sites is of similar genetic stock (predominantly from Southern China), it is postulated that the differences in myopia rates in these three localities may be related to environmental factors.