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PLoS One. 2019 Apr 18;14(4):e0215660. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215660. eCollection 2019.

Population prevalence of myopia, glasses wear and free glasses acceptance among minority versus Han schoolchildren in China.

Author information

The Second People's Hospital of Yunnan, Kunming, China.
Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Ireland, United Kingdom.
State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Guangzhou, China.
Orbis International, New York City, New York, United States of America.
Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China.
Honghe First People's Hospital, Honghe, Yunnan, China.
Dehong People's Hospital, Dehong, Yunnan, China.
Jianchuan People's Hospital, Jianchuan, Yunnan, China.
Chuxiong People's Hospital, Chuxiong, Yunnan, China.
Lancang County First People's Hospital, Lancang, Yunnan, China.



To measure myopia, glasses wear and free glasses acceptance among minority and Han children in China.


Visual acuity testing and questionnaires assessing ethnicity, study time, and parental and teacher factors were administered to a population-based sample of 9-12 year old minority and Han children in Yunnan and Guangdong, and their teachers and parents. Refraction was performed on children with uncorrected visual acuity (VA) < = 6/12 in either eye, and acceptance of free glasses assessed.


Baseline myopia (uncorrected visual acuity < = 6/12 in > = 1 eye and spherical equivalent refractive power < = -0.5D in both eyes); baseline glasses wear; free glasses acceptance.


Among 10,037 children (mean age 10.6 years, 52.3% boys), 800 (8.0%) were myopic, 4.04% among Yunnan Minority children (OR 0.47, 95%CI 0.33, 0.67, P<0.001), 6.48% in Yunnan Han (OR 0.65, 95%CI 0.45, 0.93, P = 0.019), 9.87% in Guangdong Han (Reference). Differences remained significant after adjusting for study time and parental glasses wear. Difference in baseline glasses ownership (Yunnan Minority 4.95%, Yunnan Han 6.15%, Guangdong Han 15.3%) was not significant after adjustment for VA. Yunnan minority children (71.0%) were more likely than Yunnan Han (59.6%) or Guangdong Han (36.8%) to accept free glasses. The difference was significant after adjustment only compared to Guangdong Han (OR 3.34, 95% CI 1.62, 6.90, P = 0.001).


Myopia is more common among Han children and in wealthier Guangdong. Baseline differences in glasses wear could be explained by student, teacher and parental factors. Yunnan Minority children were more likely to accept free glasses.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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