Increasing Prevalence of Myopia in Europe and the Impact of Education

A recent study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology has reported an increase in the prevalence of myopia in more recent birth decades in Europe.  The prevalence of myopia has increased from 17.8% in those born between 1910 and 1939 to 23.5% in those born between 1940 and 1979.  Education was significantly associated with myopia.  Those who completed primary, secondary and higher education, the age-standardized prevalences were 25.4%, 29.1% and 36.6% respectively. 

The study determined like in the rest of the industrialized world myopia is becoming more prevalent in Europe.  The study authors felt that higher education had an additive effect on myopia but could not explain the increased rates of myopia.  Myopia although a mere nuisance for some, increasing levels of myopia carries significant clinical and economic implications, with elevated risk of sight-threatening complications and associated healthcare costs.