A recent study revealed that firstborns are more exposed to nearsightedness later in life. In contrast with their younger siblings, they are more likely to wear glasses at some point in time.
The study was published in JAMA Ophthalmology on October 8.
The study focused on 89,000 people aging between 40 and 69. The researchers discovered that firstborns were 10% more exposed to nearsightedness than the participants which were born later.
Nevertheless, the researchers took into consideration the educational level of the individuals in order to establish the relation between birth order and nearsightedness. Those having a strong educational background were 25% more exposed to this disease.
As a consequence, researchers established there is a connection between parents and their child’s myopia. With their firstborn child, parents are more involved in activities such as reading and solving pages in workbooks. These activities require an effort for their eyes which sooner or later leads to myopia.
“Our study provides an extra piece of evidence linking education and myopia, consistent with the very high prevalence of myopia in countries with intensive education from an early age,” said the study’s author, Jeremy Guggenheim.
A similar study was made in Singapore and published in the Singapore Medical Journal. It was made on approximately 110,000 males aging between 15 and 25. The results showed that those having more years of education are more likely to suffer from myopia.
At the opposite side, a study made in China and published in JAMA Journal showed that those performing outdoor activities are less exposed to nearsightedness.
The increasing number of nearsightedness in younger generations worldwide represents an extremely important health problem, the researchers say.
Apart from the educational activities, genetics can also be a risk factor that triggers myopia.
Researchers ended their study by saying that other factors may intermediate the relation between birth order and the danger of nearsightedness.
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