Is Retinopathy of Prematurity Related to Gestational Age at Birth?

October 18, 2009

A large population-based study in Sweden found that retinopathy of prematurity was strongly associated with gestational age at birth. Researchers found that there was a 72.7% incidence of ROP in infants born before the gestational age of 27 weeks. This study was published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

This study lasted from 2004 to 2007 and 506 live-birth infants survived until the first eye examination which occurred at post-natal week 5. The incidence of ROP ranged from 100% in infants born at 22 weeks to 56% for those infants born at 26 weeks.  There was a log-linear relationship was found between severe ROP and gestational age at birth. This risk is reduced by 50% for each increase in the week of gestational age at birth.

Gestational age at birth was a stronger predictor of ROP at birth than gestational weight. This remained the case even after adjustments for birth weight.

Read the abstract/article (log-in required) here.




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