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Incidence, timing and risk factors of type 1 retinopathy of prematurity in a North American cohort


Background/Aims Early detection and timely treatment of type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can reduce the risk of blindness. To evaluate the incidence, timing and risk factors of type 1 ROP in a large, broad-risk cohort of premature infants.

Methods Secondary analysis of data from the two Postnatal Growth and Retinopathy of Prematurity studies. Main outcomes are the incidence and timing of type 1 ROP.

Results Among 11 463 infants (mean birth weight (BW), 1095 g; mean gestational age (GA), 28 weeks), 677 (5.9%, 95% CI 5.5% to 6.3%) developed type 1 ROP. Rate of type 1 ROP decreased with larger GA (28.8% for GA ≤23 weeks, 0.2% for GA of 31–32 weeks) and no infants with GA >32 weeks developed type 1 ROP. Type 1 ROP was first diagnosed at a median postmenstrual age (PMA) of 36 weeks (range 30–46 weeks) or postnatal age (PNA) of 11 weeks (range 5–21 weeks). The mean PMA at diagnosis of type 1 ROP increased with GA (35 weeks for GA of 22–24 weeks, 41 weeks for GA of 29–30 weeks), but the mean PNA at diagnosis of type 1 ROP was similar (11–13 weeks) across GA of 22–29 weeks. GA and BW dominate the association (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve=0.87, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.88).

Conclusions Type 1 ROP developed in about 6% of premature infants over wide time windows in terms of both PMA and PNA. BW and GA are the dominant risk factors for type 1 ROP, while other prenatal factors add minimal predictive power for type 1 ROP.

  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Epidemiology
  • Retina
  • Vision

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