Myopia Progression as a Function of Sex, Age, and Ethnicity

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2021 Aug 2;62(10):36. doi: 10.1167/iovs.62.10.36.


Purpose: To model juvenile-onset myopia progression as a function of race/ethnicity, age, sex, parental history of myopia, and time spent reading or in outdoor/sports activity.

Methods: Subjects were 594 children in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) Study with at least three study visits: one visit with a spherical equivalent (SPHEQ) less myopic/more hyperopic than -0.75 diopter (D), the first visit with a SPHEQ of -0.75 D or more myopia (onset visit), and another after myopia onset. Myopia progression from the time of onset was modeled using cubic models as a function of age, race/ethnicity, and other covariates.

Results: Younger children had faster progression of myopia; for example, the model-estimated 3-year progression in an Asian American child was -1.93 D when onset was at age 7 years compared with -1.43 D when onset was at age 10 years. Annual progression for girls was 0.093 D faster than for boys. Asian American children experienced statistically significantly faster myopia progression compared with Hispanic (estimated 3-year difference of -0.46 D), Black children (-0.88 D), and Native American children (-0.48 D), but with similar progression compared with White children (-0.19 D). Parental history of myopia, time spent reading, and time spent in outdoor/sports activity were not statistically significant factors in multivariate models.

Conclusions: Younger age, female sex, and racial/ethnic group were the factors associated with faster myopic progression. This multivariate model can facilitate the planning of clinical trials for myopia control interventions by informing the prediction of myopia progression rates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Ethnicity*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting*
  • Humans
  • Myopia, Degenerative / ethnology*
  • Myopia, Degenerative / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Reading
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology