The Epidemiology of Myopia in Hong Kong

M. H. Edwards, C.S.Y. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The prevalence of myopia amongst the Chinese has escalated in recent decades. While this refractive error was previously a little more than an inconvenience and a source of unwanted expense to the affected individuals, it is now sufficiently prevalent to warrant national concern. Myopia is also a major cause of low vision. This review aims to provide information on the prevalence of myopia in the Chinese community in Hong Kong. Materials and Methods: Based on a number of studies carried out mainly at the Centre for Myopia Research in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, myopia in the Chinese community in Hong Kong is described. Results: Infants in Hong Kong appear to have refractive errors similar to infants of European descent; however, by the age of 7 years myopia is already prevalent. The annual incidence of myopia thereafter averages 11% to 12%; by the age of 17 years more than 70% are myopic, and this prevalence is greater than in people of European descent. In Hong Kong, myopia is much less prevalent in the older generation. Conclusion: The increase in prevalence of myopia over a short period of time is postulated to be due to environmental factors. Children of Chinese descent have a susceptibility to environmental factors which cause myopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Chinese
  • Environment
  • Genetic
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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