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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(11): 1909-1914

Prevalence of myopia and its association with electronic devices among university students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Rakan Ahmed F. Al Otaibi, Mohammed Abdullah M. Alsahly, Faisal Abdulaziz M. Alnuwaiser, Badr Ayed Almutairi, Aamir Omair.


Background: Myopia is the most common refractive error worldwide and is a growing global burden. Although myopia is a well-recognized problem, it has not been extensively studied in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of myopia and assess the association between e-reading and myopia.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study included data collected from 571 male medical students in Riyadh between February 2019 and May 2019. The participants were categorized into three groups using stratified random cluster sampling: 187, 194, and 190 students from the fifth, third, and first years, respectively. The prevalence of myopia was self-reported through a questionnaire that also included details regarding the pattern of electronic device use. Statistical analyses were performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences to determine the prevalence with 95% confidence level.
Results: Among the 291 medical students who responded, 117 (40%) had myopia (95% confidence interval = 33.4%-48.0%), of whom 70% were diagnosed before attending the university. When comparing between myopic and non-myopic students with respect to electronic device usage, no significant difference was found (p = 0.28). However, a significant difference was found between the groups in terms of laptop utilization compared to other types of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets (p = 0.03).
Conclusions: The prevalence of myopia among university medical students was 40%. A significant difference was found between myopic and non-myopic students regarding laptop use compared with other types of electronic devices.

Key words: Electronic devices, myopia, prevalence, students, university

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