Refractive errors in medical students in Singapore

Singapore Med J. 2004 Oct;45(10):470-4.


Introduction: Refractive errors are becoming more of a problem in many societies, with prevalence rates of myopia in many Asian urban countries reaching epidemic proportions. This study aims to determine the prevalence rates of various refractive errors in Singapore medical students.

Methods: 157 second year medical students (aged 19-23 years) in Singapore were examined. Refractive error measurements were determined using a stand-alone autorefractor. Additional demographical data was obtained via questionnaires filled in by the students.

Results: The prevalence rate of myopia in Singapore medical students was 89.8 percent (Spherical equivalence (SE) at least -0.50 D). Hyperopia was present in 1.3 percent (SE more than +0.50 D) of the participants and the overall astigmatism prevalence rate was 82.2 percent (Cylinder at least 0.50 D).

Conclusion: Prevalence rates of myopia and astigmatism in second year Singapore medical students are one of the highest in the world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Refractive Errors / epidemiology*
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*