More green space recommended to reduce myopia risks among students
Chinese researchers have demonstrated that more green space exposure among students can reduce their myopia rate.
Since children from urban areas have 2.6 times higher odds of having myopia than those from rural areas that are characterized by more green environments, a potential association between green space and myopia may exist, said the research article recently published in the journal Ophthalmology.
Using China's Gaofen-2 remote sensing satellite, the researchers from the Sun Yat-sen University in south China's Guangdong Province cooperated with 20 domestic and foreign institutes to conduct large-scale cohort analysis.
The study collected samples from 142,865 students between six and nine years old in 113 schools. The students were excluded from the study if they had a history of wearing rigid contact lenses, medical treatment or a disease that may affect their vision or vision development.
The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used as the measure of green space exposure. The study results showed that a 0.1 increase in the NDVI of a school was associated with a 3.6 percent lower increase in the school myopia prevalence.
For non-myopic students, every 0.1 increase in NDVI of school green exposure could reduce the risk of myopia by 19.8 percent.
The study is expected to help policymakers develop intervention strategies, such as increasing school green space, to improve the visual health of school-age children.