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Myopia, genetics, and ambient lighting at night in a UK sample
  1. J A Guggenheim,
  2. C Hill,
  3. T-F Yam
  1. Cardiff University, Cathays Park, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Jeremy Guggenheim, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Redwood Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3NB, UK; guggenheim{at}


Background: It has been reported that exposure to artificial lighting at night during the first 2 years of life was very strongly associated with subsequent myopia development.

Methods: The strength of this association was tested in a UK sample for the first time. The study population comprised 122 university students.

Results: Myopia occurred with approximately equal frequency in those who slept with and without light exposure at night. In contrast, two largely genetic factors, parental myopia and race, were both significantly associated with myopia development, as has been found previously.

Conclusion: This study provides further support for the view that night-time light exposure during infancy is not a major risk factor for myopia development in most population groups. In a subset of this cohort for which spectacle prescriptions were available for both parents (49 trios), the heritability of ocular refraction was estimated to be 0.31.

  • myopia
  • genetics
  • ambient lighting
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