Purpose: To assess the relationship between serum vitamin D levels and myopia in people aged 12–50 years using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database. Methods: Demographics, vision, and serum vitamin D levels from NHANES (2001–2006) were analyzed. Multivariate analyses were performed to examine the relationship between serum vitamin D levels and myopia while controlling for sex, age, ethnicity, education level, serum vitamin A, and poverty status. The main outcome was presence or absence of myopia, defined as a spherical equivalent of -1 diopters or more. Results: Of the 11669 participants, 5,310 (45.5%) had myopia. The average serum vitamin D concentration was 61.6 ± 0.9 nmol/L for the myopic group and 63.1 ± 0.8 nmol/L for the non-myopic group (p =.01). After adjusting for all covariates, having higher serum vitamin D was associated with lower odds of having myopia (odds ratio 0.82 [0.74–0.92], p =.0007). In linear regression modeling that excluded hyperopes (spherical equivalent > +1 diopters), there was a positive relationship between spherical equivalent and serum vitamin D levels. Specifically, as serum vitamin D doubled, spherical equivalent increased by 0.17 (p =.02) indicating a positive dose–response relationship between vitamin D and myopia.   Conclusions: Participants with myopia, on average, had lower serum concentrations of vitamin D compared to those without myopia. While further studies are needed to determine the mechanism, this study suggests that higher vitamin D levels are associated with lower incidence of myopia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Myopia
  • vitamin D


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