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Ultraviolet B Radiation Exposure Tied to Decreased Risk of Myopia

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


FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Spending more time outside early in life may offer some protection against myopia, according to a study published online Dec. 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.

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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