Purpose: To determine the prevalence of self-reported myopia nationwide in Taiwan and its association with degrees of urbanization and education levels.
Methods: Data were obtained from the 2005 Taiwan National Health Interview Survey, a nationwide survey using multistage stratified systematic sampling. The presence of myopia, current residential areas, and education levels were ascertained by a structured questionnaire in participants ≥ 12 years of age.
Results: A total of 20,609 eligible persons were included in this study. The overall weighted prevalence of myopia in Taiwan was 46.7% (95% confidence interval: 45.9, 47.5%). The prevalence of myopia for persons aged 12-19, 20-39, 40-64, and ≥ 65 years was 70.3%, 65.4%, 30.4%, and 5.6%, respectively. Women had significantly higher rates of myopia than men for persons younger than 40 years of age (P<0.001). Myopia was significantly associated with both higher degrees of urbanization of current residential areas and higher education levels (both P<0.001). In young adult and adult groups, the effect of education levels on myopia was stronger than that of degrees of urbanization.
Conclusion: The study provides a nation-wide prevalence data on myopia in Taiwan. Both degrees of urbanization and education levels are risk factors for myopia.