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Prevalence of Myopia in Newly Enlisted Airmen at Joint Base San Antonio

Authors Reed DS, Ferris LM, Santamaria J, Mehta A, Musto M, Apsey D, Legault GL

Received 1 October 2019

Accepted for publication 18 December 2019

Published 17 January 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 133—137


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Donovan S Reed, 1 Lyndsey M Ferris, 1 Joseph Santamaria, 1 Aditya Mehta, 2 Marc Musto, 1 Doug Apsey, 1 Gary L Legault 2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Wilford Hall Eye Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX, USA; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX, USA

Correspondence: Donovan S Reed
Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Department of Ophthalmology, 1100 Wilford Hall LoopLackland AFB, San Antonio, TX 78236 Tel +1 615-943-3222

Purpose: Myopia is the most common type of refractive error and can lead to significant visual impairment. The frequency of myopia has risen considerably, and its worldwide prevalence is expected to continue to increase. Myopia is present in an increasing number of Basic Military Trainees upon entry into the United States Air Force. This study aims to demonstrate the prevalence of myopia in newly enlisted members of the United States Air Force.
Methods: This study is an institutional retrospective analysis of data collected from the United States Air Force candidates entering Basic Military Training from 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017. A random selection of 767 Air Force Basic Military Trainees were included in the analysis, yielding 1534 total eyes. The primary outcome measure studied is the mean spherical equivalent (MSE) of participants at initial evaluation. A linear regression analysis was performed to identify any associations related to participant demographics.
Results: Of participants analyzed, 45% had myopia (<− 0.5 D) and 2% high myopia (<− 6.0 D) upon entry into the United States Air Force. Myopia was found to be associated with male gender (p = < 0.001).
Conclusion: Myopia is present in a significant proportion of Basic Military Trainees upon entry into the United States Air Force, regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity. The prevalence of myopia presented is higher than previous studies, reflecting a continued trend towards increased myopia prevalence worldwide.

Keywords: myopia, astigmatism, refractive error, refractive surgery

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