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Down’s syndrome and early cataract
  1. B Haargaard1,
  2. H C Fledelius2
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to: Birgitte Haargaard MD, PhD, Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen, Denmark; bgd{at}ssi.dk

Abstract

Aims: To estimate the occurrence of early cataract among patients with Down’s syndrome and to evaluate the clinical characteristics of the cases.

Methods: Cases with Down’s syndrome were ascertained from a cohort of all Danish children between 0 and 17 years of age, who were diagnosed with cataract during the period 1977–2001 (n = 1027). Information on the patients was obtained from the medical records.

Results: Of the total of 1027 cases with non-traumatic, non-acquired cataract there were 29 cases (13 males, 16 females) with Down’s syndrome (2.8%). This corresponds to an occurrence of early cataract among patients with Down’s syndrome of 1.4%; 27 had bilateral cataract and two had unilateral cataract. Half of the patients (n = 14) underwent cataract surgery, of whom two had bilateral primary lens implantation. 10 patients had bilateral cataract observed soon after birth, and five of these underwent cataract surgery within the first 6 months of life.

Conclusion: The frequency of early cataract among children with Down’s syndrome is estimated to be 1.4%, with cataracts requiring surgery during childhood being even rarer. In one third of the 29 cases, bilateral cataract was detected in the neonatal period.

  • IOL, intraocular lens
  • NRP, National Register of Patients
  • Down’s syndrome
  • children
  • cataract
  • IOL, intraocular lens
  • NRP, National Register of Patients
  • Down’s syndrome
  • children
  • cataract

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Footnotes

  • Birgitte Haargaard and Hans C Fledelius have no competing interests.

  • The study was approved by the scientific ethics committees for Copenhagen and Frederiksberg (reference no (KF) 01-253/00), and permission to receive data from the national registries was obtained from the Danish Data Protection Agency (reference no 2000-41-0825).

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