The impact of computer use in myopia progression: a cohort study in Spain

Prev Med. 2015 Feb;71:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.005. Epub 2014 Dec 16.


Objective: Many subjects, especially highly educated subjects, are increasingly exposed to computer use. This exposure might represent an explanation for the growing rates of myopia.

Methods: We assessed 17,217 Spanish university graduates from the SUN project, an open-recruitment cohort. Their mean age was 38.5 years (SD 12.1), and their mean time of exposure to computers was 14.3h/week (SD 14.6). We estimated multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (OR) for the risk of myopia development and/or progression (≥0.5 diopters) according to baseline exposure to computer and to changes in exposure.

Results: The age and sex-adjusted OR comparing >40 h/week of exposure versus<10h/week was 1.34 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12-1.60). This association remained essentially unchanged after additional adjustments. Comparing participants who increased their exposure to computers, versus those with no change, the age and sex-adjusted OR was 1.49 (1.34-1.66). This result was unchanged after additional adjustments.

Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first large longitudinal assessment in young adults, showing that exposure to computer use is associated with myopia development or progression in a cohort of Spanish university graduates. Further studies are needed to confirm these epidemiological findings.

Keywords: Computer use; Myopia; SUN project.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Disease Progression
  • Educational Status
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia, Degenerative / epidemiology*
  • Myopia, Degenerative / etiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors