A Study on UK Biobank Participants Examines Complex Interactions Shaping the Myopia Epidemic

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a significant global health problem estimated to affect 1406 million people (about 23% of the world’s population) as of 2000. And if you get the sense that there are more and more people experiencing this disease these days, a new study led by researchers from University College London (UCL) and the UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium suggests you’re right.

The study used a large dataset from the UK Biobank, which has collected samples and health information from half a million adults living in the UK and born between 1939 and 1970. Analyzing health and sociodemographic data from more than 100,000 people, the researchers established an increased prevalence of myopia in the UK over time, from 20% prevalence in the oldest cohort (born 1939–1944) to 29.2% in the youngest cohort (born 1965–1970).

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