Refractive trends in Swedish Military recruits

  • Daniel Uhlin Unit of Optometry, Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Box 8056, 104 20 Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sten Lutteman Unit of Optometry, Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Box 8056, 104 20 Stockholm, Sweden
  • J. Adrian M. Jennings Faculty of Life Science, University of Manchester, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
  • Rune L. Brautaset Unit of Optometry, Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Box 8056, 104 20 Stockholm, Sweden
Keywords: Myopia, Refractive error

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence
of refractive errors in military recruits, with special reference to
myopia.


Methods: 651 male military recruits, 17-23 years of age, were
refracted at Pliktverket in Näsby (a National Service Administration
office near Stockholm, Sweden). The refractive measurements
were taken with a Topcon KR-7OOOP auto keratorefractometer
during the initial health examination of National
Service recruits.


Results: Out of the 651 recruits the prevalence of myopia (≥-
0.50DS) was 37.7% (i.e., both eyes being myopic). The mean refractive
error was RE -0.47DS and LE -0.41DS. This difference
was not statistically significant.


Discussion: The prevalence of myopia in Swedish military recruits
has increased from 8.9% to 37.7% and the mean refractive
error has changed from +0.53DS to –0.44DS since the study of
Strömberg (1936). However, the prevalence of myopia in these
present day recruits is lower than the 49.5% found in 12-13 year
old Swedes (Villarreal et al., 2000).

Author Biography

Daniel Uhlin, Unit of Optometry, Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Box 8056, 104 20 Stockholm, Sweden
Associate Professor Department of Optometry and Visual Science Buskerud University College Kongsberg
Section
Scientific Article