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Prevalence of refractive errors in Colombia: MIOPUR study
  1. Virgilio Galvis1,2,3,
  2. Alejandro Tello1,2,3,
  3. Johana Otero1,
  4. Andres A Serrano1,
  5. Luz María Gómez1,
  6. Paul A Camacho1,3,
  7. José Patricio López-Jaramillo1,3
  1. 1 Ophthalmology and Research Departments, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander (FOSCAL), Floridablanca, Santander, Colombia
  2. 2 Centro Oftalmológico Virgilio Galvis, Floridablanca, Santander, Colombia
  3. 3 Ophthalmology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga (UNAB), Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alejandro Tello, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander (FOSCAL), Floridablanca, Santander, Colombia; alejandrotello{at}


Purpose To determine the prevalence of refractive errors in Colombia and its relations with demographic and socioeconomic variables.

Methods A cross-sectional study performed in 10 Colombian administrative districts (MIOPUR study), including children and adolescents from 8 to 17 years old and adults from 35 to 55 years old.

Results 3608 individuals (100% of whom agreed to participate) were included. Prevalence estimates of refractive errors were: hyperopia 32.3% (95% CI 30.7 to 33.8), myopia 12.9% (95% CI 11.8 to 14.0), mixed astigmatism 2.8% (95% CI 2.2 to 3.3) and anisometropia 1.9% (95% CI 1.4 to 2.3). Prevalence of myopia in 15-year-old adolescents was 14.7%. In children and adolescents, the hyperopia prevalence decreased while myopia prevalence increased with age. In the adults group, the tendency was the contrary. Myopia prevalence reached 15.7% in urban and 9.2% in rural areas, and for hyperopia, the rates were 29.4% in urban and 36.1% in rural areas. In the multivariate analysis, living in an urban area significantly increased the risk of having myopia (OR: 1.45 (1.12 to 1.89); p<0.01). There were significant regional differences among diverse zones of the country.

Conclusions Prevalence estimates of myopia and hyperopia in Colombia were found to be at an intermediate point compared with global data. In adults, myopia frequency was lower than in European and Asian studies. The prevalence of myopia increased during childhood and adolescence and was higher in middle-aged adults (35–39 years) than in older adults. On the other hand, hyperopia rates increased with age, findings that suggest a cohort effect. In the multivariate analysis, residence in urban areas and living in a medium-high socioeconomic status were linked to myopia.

  • public health
  • optics and refraction
  • epidemiology
  • child health (paediatrics)

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  • Contributors VG, AT, PAC and JPL-J conceived the idea of the presented study. VG, AT, AAS and LMG, PAC and JPL-J developed the instruments to capture information. AAS and LMG gathered the data. JO and PAC performed statistical analysis. AT, AAS and LMG wrote the draft of the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript. All authors made significant contributions to the conception or design of the work, the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. The authors sketch the work or revised and edited it critically and gave final approval of the version published. The authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the research.

  • Funding This work (MIOPUR study) was supported by a Colombian government’s agency: the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias). Contract number: 495-2013. Code number: 651756933785.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval CEI-FOSCAL Research Ethics Committee, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander FOSCAL, Floridablanca, Colombia.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.