Ten-year longitudinal investigation of astigmatism: The Yamagata Study (Funagata)

PLoS One. 2022 Jan 10;17(1):e0261324. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261324. eCollection 2022.


Despite numerous investigations into ocular or corneal astigmatism, the dynamic nature of astigmatism remains poorly understood. To reveal potential associations between age and astigmatism, 264 Japanese participants who underwent systemic and ophthalmological examinations in Funagata Town (Yamagata Prefecture, Japan) were evaluated over a 10-year period. Astigmatism was evaluated with regard to the cylinder power, cylinder axis, and vector analyses. Whereas the refractive cylinders showed age-related increases in patients in their 40s to 60s, the corneal cylinders did not change over 10 years. Nevertheless, cylindrical axis of the cornea demonstrated a continuous shift toward against-the-rule (ATR) astigmatism. Vector analyses revealed that the astigmatic shift toward ATR progressed continually after patients reached their 40s, although the shift did not accelerate with age. These novel insights may pave the way for the development of potential strategies for vision correction, including refractive surgeries, and vision-quality maintenance in the elderly.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astigmatism / pathology*
  • Cornea / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferometry
  • Japan
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Time Factors

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.