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Specs wearers knew it

Well-educated people really are more likely to wear glasses.

A recent UK study provides evidence more time in education is a risk factor for myopia (short-sightedness).

Researchers analysed genetic variants associated with myopia and years of schooling for 67,798 men and women aged 40 to 69 years. After taking account of potentially influential factors, the analyses suggested that every additional year of education was associated with more myopia.

Professor Ian Morgan at the Australian National University says the evidence suggests it is not only genes but environmental and social factors that may have major effects on myopia. In East Asia, where early intense educational pressures combine with little time for play outdoors, almost 50 per cent of children are myopic by the end of primary school, compared with less than 10 per cent in a British study.

BMJ, June 2018

First published: Aug 2018