Sunlight Exposure Tied to Reduced Myopia Risk

More exposure to sun's UVB rays between ages 14 and 29 linked to lower risk
More exposure to sun's UVB rays between ages 14 and 29 linked to lower risk

HealthDay News — Spending more time outside early in life may offer some protection against myopia, according to a study published online December 1 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Researchers from King's College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and several other institutions looked at 371 Europeans with myopia and 2,797 without the condition. All the participants were 65 and older. Sun exposure – to ultraviolet B rays in particular – was estimated from ages 14 to 29. 

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The team found that more-educated people had a higher incidence of myopia (odds ratio, 2.08). Those who were believed to have gotten more ultraviolet B ray exposure had a lower incidence (odds ratios for exposure between ages 14 to 19 years and 20 to 39 years, 0.81 and 0.7, respectively). 

"We found that higher annual lifetime ultraviolet B exposure, directly related to time outdoors and sunlight exposure, was associated with reduced odds of myopia," the authors write. "Exposure to ultraviolet B between ages 14 and 29 years was associated with the highest reduction in odds of adult myopia."

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