What is the Prevalence of Myopia in Newly Enlisted USAF Airmen?

Research Paper Title

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

Background

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 01 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 analysed, 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).

Conclusions

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.

Reference

Reed, D.S., Ferris, L.M., Santamaria, J., Mehta, A., Musto, M., Apsey, D. & Legault, G.L. (2020) Prevalence of Myopia in Newly Enlisted Airmen at Joint Base San Antonio. Clinical Ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.). 14:133-137. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S233048. eCollection 2020.

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