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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2006; 52, 1, 63-66

DAMIAN CZEPITA, MARIA ŻEJMO*, ARTUR MOJSA

 

THE INFLUENCE OF LOW BIRTH WEIGHT ON THE PREVALENCE OF REFRACTIVE ERRORS AMONG SCHOOLCHILDREN

Department of Ophthalmology, Pomeranian Medical University

al. Powstańców Wlkp. 72, 70-111 Szczecin

Head: Prof. Danuta Karczewicz M.D., D.M.Sc. Habil.

* Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Pomeranian Medical University

al. Powstańców Wlkp. 72, 70-111 Szczecin

Head: Prof. Stefania Giedrys-Kalemba M.D., D.M.Sc. Habil.

 

Summary

Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine in a large population whether low birth weight has an influence on the prevalence of refractive errors among schoolchildren.

Material and methods: 3663 schoolchildren were examined (1738 boys and 1925 girls, aged 6–17 years, mean age 11.1, SD = 3.2). The weight at birth was 1500–2500 grams (mean 2184, SD = 271) in 254 and more than 2500 grams (mean 3398, SD = 441) in the remaining 3409 children. Skiascopy with cycloplegia was done and refractive error readings were reported as the spherical equivalent (SE). Myopia was defined as SE < -0.5 D, hyperopia as SE > +1.5 D. Anisometropia was diagnosed when the difference in the refraction of both eyes was > 1.0 D. The parents completed a questionnaire on the child’s weight and term of birth. Data analysis was performed using χ2 test. P values of less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: Hyperopia was observed more frequently in 6–7 year-old children whose birth weight was > 2500 grams (p < 0.05) – table 1. Additionally, it was found that anisometropia was less frequent in 10–11 year-old children whose birth weight was > 2500 g (p < 0.05) – table 2.

Conclusion: Low birth weight may have an effect on the prevalence of refractive errors among schoolchidren.

K e y w o r d s: low birth weight – refractive errors.

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