• myopia;
  • refractive change;
  • longitudinal study;
  • Inuit population


Purpose: To follow the refraction values in an indigenous population group over the course of the past 50 years.

Method: Case records from a population investigation carried out in Ammasalik, East Greeland, by Erik Skeller in 1950 were studied initially, a total of 1123 eyes were examined by sciascopy and 244 eyes could be followed sufficiently until about 1990–94.

Result: The mean refraction was initially +0.08D, while at the last examination the mean had increased to +0.69D. Initially, there was no myopia, defined as at least −1.5D, and at follow-up it was a maximum of 1%, and presumably due to immature cataract. A tendency to myopia (<−1.5D) was found initially in 36%, but in only 22% at follow-up.

Conclusion: The myopinizing factor in East Greenland has not affected persons born prior to 1942, even if they had a tendency to myopia (<−1.5D).