Seasonal variation of refractive error change among young schoolchildren in a population-based cohort study in Taipei

Der Chong Tsai*, Nicole Huang, Shao You Fang, Chih Chien Hsu, Pei Yu Lin, Shing Yi Chen, Yiing Mei Liou, Allen Wen Hsiang Chiu, Catherine Jui Ling Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose To investigate the relationship between seasonal variation of daylight length and spherical equivalent (SE) progression among the schoolchildren participating in the Myopia Investigation Study in Taipei. Methods We used the first-year data from grade 2 schoolchildren who completed all the baseline and two follow-up examinations (n=6790). There were two 6-month intervals between visits over winter and summer, respectively. For each interval, we calculated average daily daylight length using data from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau and measured 6-month SE progression rate based on right eye cycloplegic autorefraction data. The midpoint month was defined as the month midway between two consecutive visits. Results By the midpoint month, average daily daylight length was the shortest in December (671±7 min/day) and the longest (785±7 min/day) in June, and SE progression rate was the fastest ('0.23±0.48 D) in December and the slowest ('0.17±0.51 D) in June. Significant variation of SE progression rate with season can be observed only among the schoolchildren (n=1905) whose midpoint months for the winter and summer intervals were December and June (winter rate, '0.25±0.47 D; summer rate, '0.17±0.49 D; p<0.001). Of those, the summer progression rate was approximately 80%, 65% and 61.5% of that measured in winter for myopic (p=0.252), emmetropic (p=0.012) and hyperopic (p=0.012) schoolchildren, respectively. Conclusion Our data demonstrate a seasonal variation of minus shift in refractive error among Taipei schoolchildren who had significant daytime fluctuation during the 1-year follow-up. Of those, non-myopic children had significant and more pronounced variation of SE progression than myopic children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-348
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • child health (paediatrics)
  • epidemiology
  • optics and refraction


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