The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between serum 25(OH)D levels and axial length (AL) and myopia in 6-year-old children. A total of 2666 children aged 6 years participating in the birth-cohort study Generation R underwent a stepwise eye examination. First, presenting visual acuity (VA) and AL were performed. Second, automated cycloplegic refraction was measured if LogMAR VA > 0.1. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was determined from blood using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Vitamin D related SNPs were determined with a SNP array; outdoor exposure was assessed by questionnaire. The relationships between 25(OH)D and AL or myopia were investigated using linear and logistic regression analysis. Average 25(OH)D concentration was 68.8 nmol/L (SD ± 27.5; range 4–211); average AL 22.35 mm (SD ± 0.7; range 19.2–25.3); and prevalence of myopia 2.3 % (n = 62). After adjustment for covariates, 25(OH)D concentration (per 25 nmol/L) was inversely associated with AL (β −0.043; P < 0.01), and after additional adjusting for time spent outdoors (β −0.038; P < 0.01). Associations were not different between European and non-European children (β −0.037 and β −0.039 respectively). Risk of myopia (per 25 nmol/L) was OR 0.65 (95 % CI 0.46–0.92). None of the 25(OH)D related SNPs showed an association with AL or myopia. Lower 25(OH)D concentration in serum was associated with longer AL and a higher risk of myopia in these young children. This effect appeared independent of outdoor exposure and may suggest a more direct role for 25(OH)D in myopia pathogenesis.

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European Journal of Epidemiology
Department of Internal Medicine

Tideman, J.W.L, Polling, J.R, Voortman, R.G, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Uitterlinden, A.G, Hofman, A, … Klaver, C.C.W. (2016). Low serum vitamin D is associated with axial length and risk of myopia in young children. European Journal of Epidemiology, 31(5), 491–499. doi:10.1007/s10654-016-0128-8