Purpose: The aim was to identify the prevalence and risk factors of myopia among elementary school students in a rural area of Taiwan.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Elementary school students aged 7-12 years were recruited from the two schools located on Chimei Island. Data were obtained by means of a parent questionnaire and ocular evaluations that included axial length and cycloplegic autorefraction.
Results: One hundred and forty five students were recruited for this study. Myopia prevalence was 31%. In univariate analysis, myopia was significantly associated with school year, myopic parent, and watching television (TV) (P < .0001, =0.007 and =0.029, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that myopia was significantly associated with school year and myopic parent. However, the effect of watching TV was not statistically significant (P=0.059). Outdoor activity showed significance and was inversely associated with myopia (Odds Ratio [OR]=0.3, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=0.1-0.9, P=0.025).
Conclusion: This study suggests that outdoor activities might be an important protecting factor for myopia in rural school children.