• myopia;
  • prevalence;
  • refractive distribution;
  • school children;
  • age;
  • sex

Abstract The onset of myopia typically occurs in childhood and increases during puberty. We studied the vision and refractive errors of 977 school children (ages 6 to 17 years) in 1983. Myopia in the group was extremely low; 97% had vision of 6/6, and 1.3% had myopia greater than 0.25D. Regression analysis revealed a change in mean refraction of -0.016D/year for males and -0.024D/ year for females. There were no significant differences between males and females. These children engaged in about 8 hours of school work per day, and we conclude that genetic factors predominate over environmental factors in the determination of myopic refractive errors for this group.