Pupil size in Jewish theological seminary students

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2004 May-Jun;14(3):206-10. doi: 10.1177/112067210401400304.


Purpose: To investigate the authors' clinical impression that pupil size among myopic Jewish theological seminary students is different from pupil size of similar secular subjects.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 28 male Jewish theological seminary students and 28 secular students or workers who were matched for age and refraction. All participants were consecutively enrolled. Scotopic and photopic pupil size was measured by means of a Colvard pupillometer. Comparisons of various parameters between the groups were performed using the two-sample t-test, Fisher exact test, a paired-sample t-test, a two-way analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation coefficients as appropriate.

Results: The two groups were statistically matched for age, refraction, and visual acuity. The seminary students were undercorrected by an average of 2.35 diopters (D), while the secular subjects were undercorrected by only 0.65 D (p<0.01). The average pupil size was larger in the religious group under both scotopic and photopic luminance. This difference was maintained when the two groups were compared according to iris color under both conditions, reaching a level of statistical significance (p<0.0001). There was a significant difference in photopic pupil size between dark and light irises (p=0.049), but this difference was not maintained under scotopic conditions.

Conclusions: The average pupil size of young ultraorthodox seminary students was significantly larger than that of matched secular subjects. Whether this is the result of intensive close-up work or of apparently characteristic undercorrection of the myopia is undetermined.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Eye Color
  • Humans
  • Iris / anatomy & histology*
  • Jews / education*
  • Judaism
  • Male
  • Myopia / complications
  • Myopia / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pupil / physiology*
  • Students
  • Theology / education*