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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2004 Jan;33(1):34-8.

The epidemiology of myopia in Hong Kong.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Myopia Research, Department of Optometry and Radiography, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The prevalence of myopia amongst the Chinese has escalated in recent decades. While this refractive error was previously a little more than an inconvenience and a source of unwanted expense to the affected individuals, it is now sufficiently prevalent to warrant national concern. Myopia is also a major cause of low vision. This review aims to provide information on the prevalence of myopia in the Chinese community in Hong Kong.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Based on a number of studies carried out mainly at the Centre for Myopia Research in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, myopia in the Chinese community in Hong Kong is described.

RESULTS:

Infants in Hong Kong appear to have refractive errors similar to infants of European descent; however, by the age of 7 years myopia is already prevalent. The annual incidence of myopia thereafter averages 11% to 12%; by the age of 17 years more than 70% are myopic, and this prevalence is greater than in people of European descent. In Hong Kong, myopia is much less prevalent in the older generation.

CONCLUSION:

The increase in prevalence of myopia over a short period of time is postulated to be due to environmental factors. Children of Chinese descent have a susceptibility to environmental factors which cause myopia.

PMID:
15008559
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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