Myopia in young adults is inversely related to an objective marker of ocular sun exposure: the Western Australian Raine cohort study

C.M. Mcknight, Justin Sherwin, S. Yazar, Hannah Forward, Alexander Tan, Alex Hewitt, Craig Pennell, Ian Mcallister, T.L. Young, M.T. Coroneo, David Mackey

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74 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To determine the association between ocular sun exposure measured by conjunctival ultraviolet (UV) autofluorescence and myopic refractive error in young adults.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODS: setting: Population-based cohort in Western Australia. study population: Total of 1344 mostly white subjects aged 19-22 years in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Eye Health Study. observation procedures: Cycloplegic autorefraction, conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence photography, participant questionnaire. main outcome measures: Prevalence of myopic refractive error (spherical equivalent less than -0.50 diopters) and area of conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence in mm(2).

RESULTS: There was an inverse relationship between myopic refractive error and ocular sun exposure, with more than double the prevalence of myopia in the lowest quartile of conjunctival autofluorescence than the highest quartile (33.0% vs 15.6%). Median area of autofluorescence was significantly lower in myopic than in nonmyopic subjects (31.9 mm(2) vs 47.9 mm(2), P < .001). These differences remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, parental history of myopia, and subject level of education. The use of corrective lenses did not explain the lower conjunctival autofluorescence observed in myopic subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: In this young adult population, myopic refractive error was inversely associated with objectively measured ocular sun exposure, even after adjustment for potential confounders. This further supports the inverse association between outdoor activity and myopia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079–1085
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


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