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Evolution of the Prevalence of Myopia among Taiwanese Schoolchildren: A Review of Survey Data from 1983 through 2017


Tzu-Hsun Tsai, MD, PhD, Yao-Lin Liu, MD, MS, I-Hsin Ma, MD, Chien-Chia Su, MD,
Chao-Wen Lin, MD, Luke Long-Kuang Lin, MD, PhD, Chuhsing Kate Hsiao, PhD, I-Jong Wang, MD, PhD


Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Department of Health, Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan).






  • The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in the prevalence of myopia in Taiwanese schoolchildren over the past few decades and to analyze the risk factors for myopia.

  • An analysis of 8 consecutive population-based myopia surveys was conducted from 1983 through 2017.

  • An average of 8917 (5019–11 656) schoolchildren 3 to 18 years of age were selected using stratified systematic cluster sampling or by probability proportional to size sampling.

  • Prevalence of myopia (spherical equivalence of ≤−0.25 diopter [D]) and high myopia (≤−6.0 D) was assessed. Multivariate analyses of risk factors were conducted.

  • The prevalence of myopia among all age groups increased steadily. From 1983 through 2017, the weighted prevalence increased from 5.37% to 25.41% for 7-year olds and from 30.66% to 76.67% for 12-year olds. The prevalence of high myopia also increased from 1.39% to 4.26% for 12-year-olds and from 4.37% to 15.36%for 15-year-olds. In both the 2005 and 2016 survey samples, children who spent less than 180 minutes daily on near-work activities showed significantly lower risks for myopia. In the 2016 survey, spending more than 60 minutes daily on electronic devices was associated significantly with both myopia and high myopia

  • The prevalence of myopia among schoolchildren increased rapidly from 1983 through 2017 in Taiwan. The major risk factors are older age and time spent on near-work activities. Use of electronic devices increased the amount of time spent on near-work and may increase the risk of developing myopia.