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Global and Regional Estimates of Prevalence of Refractive Errors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Hassan Hashemi, Akbar Fotouhi, Abbasali Yekta, Reza Pakzad, Hadi Ostadimoghaddam, Mehdi Khabazkhoob


Iranian Society of Ophthalmology




Journal of Current Ophthalmology


  • The aim of the study was a systematic review of refractive errors across the world according to the WHO regions.

  • Refractive errors are the most common ocular problem affecting all age groups. They are considered a public health challenge.

  • Recent studies and WHO reports indicate that refractive errors are the first cause of visual impairment and the second cause of visual loss worldwide as 43% of visual impairments are attributed to refractive errors.

  • This report showed that astigmatism was the most common refractive errors in children and adults followed by hyperopia and myopia.

  • The highest prevalence of myopia and astigmatism was seen in South-East Asian adults.

  • The highest prevalence of hyperopia in children and adults was seen in the Americas.

  • A direct correlation was found between the prevalence of myopia and astigmatism in most WHO regions. The trend of myopia has increased linearly in the past three decades, maybe as a result of increased indoor activity due to computerization in recent years.