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Protective behaviours of near work and time outdoors in myopia prevalence and progression in myopic children: a 2-year prospective population study


Aim To investigate the protective behaviours of longer near work distance, discontinuing near work and more time outdoors in recess from parent self-report in the myopia prevalence and progression among myopic children aged 9–11 years.

Methods Myopia Investigation study in Taipei is a longitudinal population-based study that enrolled elementary school students in Taipei. We provided vision and refraction examination every 6 months. Spherical equivalent (SE) of cycloplegic refraction ≤−0.50 Diopter (D) is defined as myopia. Total 10 743 (70.4%) students completed 2-year refraction data and questionnaire. The myopia prevalence and progression (difference of SE) in baseline, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months were compared by generalised estimating equations.

Results Children with persistent protective behaviour had significant lower prevalence of myopia. The protective impact was statistically significant from 6 to 24 months. In 2 years follow-up, risk ratio after adjusting the background variables and the other two behaviours in near work distance, near work time and outdoor time were 0.71, 0.89 and 0.77. In SE analysis, after adjusting the other two behaviours, near work distance >30 cm (−0.7 vs −1.04 D; p<0.001), discontinuing near work every 30 min (−0.77 vs −0.96 D, p=0.005) and more time outdoors in recess from parent self-report (−0.75 vs −0.98 D; p=0.012) revealed protective impacts on diminishing myopia progression from 6 to 24 months.

Conclusion In myopic children aged around 10 years in Taipei, longer distance in near work, discontinuing near work every 30 min and more outdoor time from parent self-report are protective behaviours in myopia prevalence and progression in 6–24 months.

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

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