Progression of myopia in children and teenagers: a nationwide longitudinal study

Br J Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug;106(8):1104-1109. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-318256. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Background: Data on myopia prevalence and progression in European children are sparse. The aim of this work was to evaluate the progression of myopia in children and teenagers in a large prospective study.

Methods: A prospective study involving a nationwide cohort. Myopia was defined as a spherical equivalent (SE) of ≤ -0.50 diopters (D). Data on refractive error, gender and age were collected in 696 optical centres in France between 2013 and 2019, including 136 333 children (4-17 years old) in the analysis.Progression of myopia was assessed between the first visit and the last visit over up to 6.5 years.

Results: Mean age was 11.3±3.8 years (55.0% of female). The proportion of children progressing more than -0.50 D per year was higher in age groups 7-9 years and 10-12 years and in children with SE ≤ -4.00 D at first visit, representing 33.1%, 29.4% and 30.0% of these groups, respectively. In multivariate analysis, progression during the first 11-24 months was higher in the 7-9 and 10-12 age groups (-0.43 D and -0.42 D, respectively), for higher SE at baseline (at least -0.33 D for SE ≤ -1 D) and for girls (-0.35 D).

Conclusion: This is the first French epidemiological study to investigate myopia progression in a large-scale cohort of children. Sex, age groups and myopia severity are associated with differing rates of progression.

Keywords: epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Myopia* / diagnosis
  • Myopia* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refraction, Ocular