PURPOSE: To investigate the association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium. METHODS: Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2011 were used for the present epidemiologic study. A total of 19,178 participants aged ≥ 30 years were evaluated for blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and performed ophthalmic slit lamp examinations. Pterygium was considered as a growth of fibrovascular tissue over the cornea. RESULTS: The average blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were 18.6 ng/mL, and prevalence of pterygium was 6.5%. The odds of pterygium significantly increased across blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D quintiles after controlling sun exposure time as well as other confounders such as sex, age, smoking, diabetes, hypertension (P < 0.001). The odds ratios (OR) for pterygium was 1.51 (95% Confidence Interval[95%CI]; 1.19-1.92) in the highest blood vitamin D quintile. Stratified analysis by sex showed a positive association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium in both men (quintile 5 versus 1, OR; 1.68, 95%CI; 1.19-2.37) and women (quintile 5 versus 1, OR; 1.37, 95% CI; 1.00-1.88). CONCLUSIONS: Even after controlling sun light exposure time, we found a positive association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium in a representative Korean population. The mechanism underlying this association is unknown.