Recently, researchers in South Korea have found that vitamin D levels may relate to severity of myopia.
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition in which light coming into the eye doesn’t focus correctly. People with myopia are unable to see distant objects in focus, but can see objects up close in focus.
Previous research has found that spending more time outdoors may help protect against developing myopia. This has led some researchers to speculate that vitamin D may play a role in myopia, as outdoor sun exposure is the main way for humans to produce vitamin D.
In the present study, researchers at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea looked at data from a national sample to determine if vitamin D relates to myopia.
They used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). KNHANES is an ongoing population-wide survey that collects data on health and nutritional status of people in South Korea.
The researchers looked at data from 2,038 people aged 13 to 18 years old who had participated in KNHANES. The researchers examined their vitamin D levels, and noted whether they had myopia, and how severe their myopia was.
They wanted to know if vitamin D levels were related to the prevalence and severity of the condition.
Of the 2,038 participants, 80.1% had myopia and 8.9% had very severe myopia. The researchers found that vitamin D levels were related to severity of myopia. This means lower vitamin D levels were related to more severe myopia among the participants.
“We found a significant association between low serum [vitamin D] concentration and myopia in Korean adolescents aged 13 to 18 years,” the researchers stated.
The researchers called for efforts to raise vitamin D levels among children through supplementation and outdoor activity in order to prevent the development of myopia.