Increased myopia linked to higher education levels

July 3, 2014

Attaining a higher level of education and spending more years in school are associated with a greater prevalence and severity of myopia, according to a new study published online.

Attaining a higher level of education and spending more years in school are associated with a greater prevalence and severity of myopia, according to a study published online in Ophthalmology.

Researchers at the University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany, conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study of a cohort of the Gutenberg Health Study. They studied the incidence of myopia in 4,658 Germans ages 35 to 74, excluding anyone with cataracts or who had undergone refractive surgery, and found that myopia appeared to become more prevalent as education level increased.

Among the findings:

  • 24% of individuals who had no high school education or other training were nearsighted.

  • 35% of high school graduates and vocational school graduates were nearsighted.

  • 53% of university graduates were nearsighted.

In addition to education levels completed, the researchers also found that people who spent more years in school were more severely myopic, with the degree of myopia worsening for each year of school. Furthermore, the researchers looked at the effect of 45 genetic markers, but found genetics to be a much weaker factor in the degree of myopia compared to education level.

To read the study, click here.