Is myopia another clinical manifestation of insulin resistance?

Virgilio Galvis, Patricio López-Jaramillo, Alejandro Tello, Yuly Andrea Castellanos-Castellanos, Paul Anthony Camacho, Daniel Dylan Cohen, Diego Gómez-Arbeláez, Jesús Merayo-Lloves

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Myopia is a multifactorial visual refraction disease, in which the light rays from distant objects are focused in front of retina, causing blurry vision. Myopic eyes are characterized by an increased corneal curvature and/or ocular axial length. The prevalence of myopia has increased in recent decades, a trend that cannot be attributed exclusively to genetic factors. Low and middle income countries have a higher burden of refractive error, which we propose could be a consequence of a shorter exposure time to a westernized lifestyle, a phenomenon that may also explain the rapid increase in cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes, among those populations. We suggest that interactions between genetic, epigenetic and a rapidly changing environment are also involved in myopia onset and progression. Furthermore, we discuss several possible mechanisms by which insulin resistance may promote abnormal ocular growth and myopia to support the hypothesis that insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are involved in its pathogenesis, providing a link between trends in myopia and those of cardiometabolic diseases. There is evidence that insulin have direct ocular growth promoting effects as well an indirect effect via the induction of insulin-like growth factors leading to decreases insulin-like growth factor-binding protein, also implicated in ocular growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Hypotheses
StatePublished - 1 May 2016


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