An evolutionary analysis of the aetiology and pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The available evidence suggests that both genes and environment play a crucial role in the development of juvenile-onset myopia. When the human visual system is examined from an evolutionary perspective, it becomes apparent that humans, living in the original environmental niche for which our species is genetically adapted (as hunter-gatherers), are either slightly hypermetropic or emmetropic and rarely develop myopia. Myopia occurs when novel environmental conditions associated with modern civilization are introduced into the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The excessive near work of reading is most frequently cited as the main environmental stressor underlying the development of myopia. In this review we point out how a previously unrecognized diet-related malady (chronic hyperinsulinaemia) may play a key role in the pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia because of its interaction with hormonal regulation of vitreal chamber growth.


  • L Cordain
  • SB Eaton
  • JB Miller
  • Staffan Lindeberg
  • C Jensen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ophthalmology


  • insulin like growth, factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), insulin like growth factor I (IGF-1), gatherers, hunter, retinoid X receptors (RXR), retinoic acid receptors (RAR), retinoic acid (RA), insulin resistance, myopia, form deprivation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
JournalActa Ophthalmologica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Community Medicine (013241810), Psychiatry/Primary Care/Public Health (013240500)