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Association between vitamin D and myopia in adolescents and young adults: Evidence of national cross-sectional study.

PURPOSE: Studies have indicated that the observed association between vitamin D and myopia was confounded by time spent outdoors. This study aimed to elucidate this association using a national cross-sectional dataset.

METHODS: Participants with 12 to 25 years who participated in non-cycloplegic vision exam from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2008 were included in the present study. Myopia was defined as spherical equivalent of any eyes ≤ -0.5 diopters (D).

RESULTS: 7,657 participants were included. The weighted proportion of emmetropes, mild myopia, moderate myopia, and high myopia were 45.5%, 39.1%, 11.6%, and 3.8%, respectively. After adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, TV/computer usage, and stratified by education attainment, every 10 nmol/L increment of serum 25(OH)D concentration was associated with a reduced risk of myopia (odds ratio [OR] = 0.96, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.93-0.99 for any myopia; OR = 0.96, 95%CI 0.93-1.00 for mild myopia; OR = 0.99, 95%CI 0.97-1.01 for moderate myopia; OR = 0.89, 95%CI 0.84-0.95 for high myopia). Serum 25(OH)D level was closely correlated with time spent outdoors. After categorizing time spent outdoors into quarters (low, low-medium, medium-high, and high), every 1 quarter increment of time spent outdoors was associated with 2.49 nmol/L higher serum 25(OH)D concentration. After adjusting for time spent outdoors, serum 25(OH)D level did not show significant association with myopia (OR = 1.01, 95%CI 0.94-1.06 for 10 nmol/L increment).

CONCLUSIONS: The association between high serum vitamin D and reduced risk of myopia is confounded by longer time spent outdoors. Evidence from the present study does not support that there is a direct association between serum vitamin D level with myopia.

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