Near work, education, family history, and myopia in Greek conscripts

Eye (Lond). 2008 Apr;22(4):542-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6702693. Epub 2007 Jan 12.


Aims: To investigate potential factors associated with the presence of myopia in a cohort of young adult men carrying out their military service in Greece.

Methods: A nested case-control study of 200 conscripts (99 myopes and 101 non-myopes). The cohort consisted of approximately 1000 conscripts in compulsory national service. All cohort members had been screened for refractive errors by Snellen visual acuity measurement at presentation to military service; individuals not achieving visual activity 6/6 underwent noncycloplaegic refraction. The study sample consisted of the first 99 myopic and 101 nonmyopic conscripts who attended the study. In-person interviews of these 200 conscripts were conducted to obtain information on family history, occupation, level of education, near-work activities, and sleeping behaviour. chi(2) and Mann-Whitney tests were used as univariate analysis methods to identify the potential factors associated with the presence of myopia. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the adjusted relative risk of myopia.

Results: Univariate analysis showed that parental family history (P<0.001), older age (P<0.001), tertiary education (P<0.001), hours of reading per day (P<0.001), hours of computer use per day (P<0.001), and higher social classes (P<0.001) were associated with myopia. Sleeping in artificial or ambient light was not associated with myopia (P=0.75). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that older age (OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.49), tertiary education (OR=12.67, 95% CI 3.57-44.88) and parental family history (OR=3.39, 95% CI 1.56-7.36) were independently associated with myopia.

Conclusion: In young Greek conscripts, parental family history, older age, and education level are independently associated with myopia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Fixation, Ocular*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Myopia / etiology*
  • Myopia / genetics
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Reading
  • Sleep
  • Social Class