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East Asia has experienced an excessive increase in myopia in the past decades with more than 80% of the younger generation now affected. Environmental and genetic factors are both assumed to contribute in the development of refractive errors, but the etiology is unknown. The environmental factor argued to be of greatest importance in preventing myopia is high levels of daylight exposure. If true, myopia prevalence would be higher in adolescents living in high latitude countries with fewer daylight hours in the autumn-winter. We examined the prevalence of refractive errors in a representative sample of 16-19-year-old Norwegian Caucasians (n = 393, 41.2% males) in a representative region of Norway (60° latitude North). At this latitude, autumn-winter is 50 days longer than summer. Using gold-standard methods of cycloplegic autorefraction and ocular biometry, the overall prevalence of myopia [spherical equivalent refraction (SER) ≤-0.50 D] was 13%, considerably lower than in East Asians. Hyperopia (SER ≥ + 0.50 D), astigmatism (≥1.00 DC) and anisometropia (≥1.00 D) were found in 57%, 9% and 4%. Norwegian adolescents seem to defy the world-wide trend of increasing myopia. This suggests that there is a need to explore why daylight exposure during a relatively short summer outweighs that of the longer autumn-winter.
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Name: Scientific reports
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Norwegian islands located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole
The relating of causes to the effects they produce. Causes are termed necessary when they must always precede an effect and sufficient when they initiate or produce an effect. Any of several factors may be associated with the potential disease causation or outcome, including predisposing factors, enabling factors, precipitating factors, reinforcing factors, and risk factors.
The constant presence of diseases or infectious agents within a given geographic area or population group. It may also refer to the usual prevalence of a given disease with such area or group. It includes holoendemic and hyperendemic diseases. A holoendemic disease is one for which a high prevalent level of infection begins early in life and affects most of the child population, leading to a state of equilibrium such that the adult population shows evidence of the disease much less commonly than do children (malaria in many communities is a holoendemic disease). A hyperendemic disease is one that is constantly present at a high incidence and/or prevalence rate and affects all groups equally. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 3d ed, p53, 78, 80)
These growth factors are soluble mitogens secreted by a variety of organs. The factors are a mixture of two single chain polypeptides which have affinity to heparin. Their molecular weight are organ and species dependent. They have mitogenic and chemotactic effects and can stimulate endothelial cells to grow and synthesize DNA. The factors are related to both the basic and acidic FIBROBLAST GROWTH FACTORS but have different amino acid sequences.