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To investigate how age and other factors affect astigmatism in Japanese adults over a period of 5 years.We included 512 Japanese participants who had undergone systemic and ophthalmological examinations both in 2005–2007 and in 2010–2012 in Funagata town, Yamagata, Japan. Astigmatism was evaluated using power vector analyses, where J0 represents the power of orthogonal astigmatism. Positive values of J0 indicate with-the-rule astigmatism, whereas negative values indicate against-the-rule (ATR).In this cross-sectional investigation, J0 represented the power of orthogonal astigmatism, and multivariate regression revealed that both J0 and corneal J0 (cJ0) declined with increasing age (both P < 0.001). In a longitudinal investigation spanning 5 years, the mean amounts of change (Δ) in J0 and ΔcJ0 were −0.045 ± 0.308 and −0.072 ± 0.278, respectively. This confirmed an ATR shift with increasing age in most individuals. The age-divided distribution of the magnitude of differences indicated that older age was associated with a larger astigmatic change over a 5-year period in both the cornea and the entire eye. Using multivariate logistic regression, we observed that older age at baseline was a risk factor for low ΔJ0, indicating a large shift toward ATR astigmatism.We confirmed that a refractive and keratometric shift toward ATR astigmatism occurs with aging. Older age at baseline was also associated with a larger magnitude of astigmatic changes over the subsequent 5 years.