Age, Higher Baseline Spherical Equivalent Associated With Myopia Progression

Portrait of teenage girl with green dyed hair wearing eyeglasses
Younger age presents a greater risk factor for myopia progression than baseline spherical equivalent, according to investigators.

Young patients, aged 14 to 15 years, with a spherical equivalent (SE) of -4.0 D or worse experienced myopia progression of ≥ -0.50 D per year from baseline to follow-up 12 to 26 months later, according to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. 

Researchers performed an analysis on 630,487 teens and adults (mean age: 43.4±18.2 years and mean SE of -2.8±2.3 D). The patients’ overall myopia progression rate was 7.8% for the entire population. However, this percentage reached 18.2% for individuals aged 14 to 15 years, 13.9% in the 16 to 17 year age group, and 13.0% for those aged 18 to 19 years. The 5-year cumulative risk for high myopia in teens aged 14 to 15 years who also presented with greater baseline myopia was 76%, compared with 58% for individuals aged 19 to 23 years who began the study with higher myopia.

Participants who were women exhibited some signs of greater myopia progression. Multivariate analysis revealed an average 12 to 26 month progression of -0.25 D for women, compared with -0.23 D for men. Researchers noted that the mean rate of myopia progression was consistent among all groups.

“The current study showed that the most important risk factor for myopia progression is younger age rather than degree of myopia, “ according to investigators. This finding highlights the importance of early intervention.

Study limitations include a lack of estimates on adult-onset myopia and the exclusion of patients not presenting with a prescription.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the biotech, pharmaceutical, or medical device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 


Ducloux A, Marillet S, Ingrand P, Bullimore MA, Bourne RRA, Leveziel, N. Progression of myopia in teenagers and adults: a nationwide longitudinal study of a prevalent cohort. Br J Ophthalmol. Published online December 22, 2021. doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2021-319568