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Nearsightedness increasing in the United States

Study suggests growth of more than 60 percent since the 1970s

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6:06pm, December 14, 2009

It looks like nearsightedness is on the rise in the United States.

Researchers tapped into a wide-ranging health survey to rate vision in the population in the early 1970s and roughly 30 years later. They compared eyesight information for more than 4,400 people tested in 1971 and 1972 with data from another set of 8,300 people tested from 1999 to 2004.

This broad survey showed that 25 percent of those examined in the early 1970s were deemed to be nearsighted, compared with 42 percent examined three decades later, the researchers report in the December Archives of Ophthalmology. That’s an increase of 66 percent.

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