Myopia profile in Copenhagen medical students 1996-98. Refractive stability over a century is suggested

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2000 Oct;78(5):501-5. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.2000.078005501.x.


Purpose: To assess the myopia prevalence and profile in today's Danish medical students and to compare the pattern with previous and contemporary investigations.

Methods: As part of the tutoring in ophthalmology 1996-98 Copenhagen medical students of five successive terms (in their 10th semester, n=294) were interviewed and spot-checked about their refraction. Myopia from -0.5 D was recorded and myopia onset age stated.

Results: The age range was 22-41 years, median age 26. Myopia ranging from -0.5 to -8 D was encountered in 147 students (50% of all; females 53.9%, males 45%). In seven the myopia was unilateral. Median values for myopia degree and onset age were -2.5 D and 16 years in female myopes (n=89) which differed significantly from the male values (n=58) of -1.5 D and 18 years. Including the age of 18 as lower cut-off for adult-onset myopia 44.9% of the myopes belonged to this category.

Conclusions: The results are in close agreement with recent Norwegian student investigations, and there is no obvious trend of a worsening of the academic myopia issue in our part of the world. This is in marked contrast to student myopia profiles as reported in Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong where myopia is booming, by number and degree.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age of Onset
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*