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Prevalence and associated factors of myopia in children and adolescents in Russia: the Ural Children Eye Study
  1. Mukharram M. Bikbov1,
  2. Gyulli M. Kazakbaeva1,
  3. Albina A Fakhretdinova1,
  4. Azaliia M Tuliakova1,
  5. Ellina M Iakupova1,
  6. Songhomitra Panda-Jonas2,
  7. Leisan I Gilemzianova1,
  8. Liana A Garipova1,
  9. Dinar A Khakimov1,
  10. Liaisan I Islamova1,
  11. Jost B Jonas3
  1. 1 Ufa Eye Research Institute, Ufa, Russian Federation
  2. 2 Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany
  3. 3 Department of Ophthalmology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jost B Jonas, Department of Ophthalmology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany; jost.jonas{at}


Background To assess the prevalence of myopia and the distribution of ocular axial length as surrogate for myopic refractive error in school children in a population in Russia.

Methods The Ural Children Eye Study, a school-based case–control study, was conducted in Ufa/Bashkortostan/Russia from 2019 to 2022 and included 4933 children (age: 9.7±2.6 years; range: 6.2–18.8 years). The parents underwent a detailed interview and the children an ophthalmological and general examination.

Results Prevalence of any myopia (≤−0.50 dioptres (D)), minor myopia (−0.50 D to −1.0 D), moderate myopia (−1.01 D to −5.99 D) and high myopia (≤−6.0D) was 2187/3737 (46.2%; 95% CI 44.8% to 48.6%), 693/4737 (14.6%; 95% CI 13.6% to 15.6%), 1430/4737 (30.2%; 95% CI 28.9% to 31.5%) and 64/4737 (1.4%; 95% CI 1.0% to 1.7%), respectively. In the children aged 17+ years, prevalence of any, minor, moderate and high myopia was 170/259 (65.6%; 95% CI 59.8% to 71.5%), 130/259 (50.2%; 95% CI 44.1% to 56.3%), 28/259 (10.8%; 95% CI 7.0% to 14.6%) and 12/259 (4.6%; 95% CI 2.1% to 7.2%), respectively. After adjusting for corneal refractive power (beta: 0.09) and lens thickness (beta: −0.08), larger myopic refractive error was associated (r2=0.19) with older age (beta: 0.33), female sex (beta: 0.04), higher prevalence of maternal (beta: 0.15) and paternal (beta: 0.12) myopia, more time spent in school, with reading books or playing with the cell phone (beta: 0.05) and less total time spent outdoors (beta: 0.05). Axial length and myopic refractive error increased by 0.12 mm (95% CI 0.11 to 0.13) and −0.18 D (95% CI 0.17 to 0.20), respectively, per year of age.

Conclusions In this ethnically mixed urban school children population from Russia, prevalence of any myopia (65.6%) and high myopia (4.6%) in children aged 17+ years was higher than in adult populations in the same region and it was lower than in East Asian school children, with similar associated factors.

  • Epidemiology
  • Public health

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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  • Contributors Design of the study: MMB, GMK and JBJ; Funding: MMB; Examination of study participants: MMB, GMK, AAF, AMT. EMI, SP-J, LIG, LAG, DAK, LII and JBJ; Supervision: MMB and GMK; Guarantor of overall content: MMB, JBJ.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JBJ and SP-J: European patent EP 3 271 392, JP 2021-119187 and US 2021 0340237 A1: Agents for use in the therapeutic or prophylactic treatment of myopia or hyperopia. All other authors: none.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.