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Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

Association of refractive status with birth weight and gestational age

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Author Details: Summa Unnikrishnan, Abhaya Balakrishnan

Volume : 3

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2395-1451

Print ISSN : 2395-1443

Article First Page : 214

Article End Page : 218


Background: Refractive error is a major cause of childhood blindness worldwide and more than 13 million children are visually impaired.(1) With the advent of modern technology, many low birth weight babies are surviving. To improve the quality of life it is mandatory to screen them to prevent the development of amblyopia. The present study aims to find out whether birth weight and gestational age have any correlation with the refractive status.
Materials & Methods: Cross sectional study conducted in 100 eyes of 50 preterm & 50 term babies from the paediatric ophthalmology and paediatric neonatal unit of a tertiary centre in south India. Babies were grouped according to their birth weight to three groups. Very low birth weight (< 1.5 Kg), low birth weight (1.5- 2.5 kg) and normal (≥2.5Kg). Gestational age was also considered. After adequate cycloplegia(2,3) retinoscopy was done to detect the refractive status. Statistical analysis was done using spss version 16.
Results: There was a significant correlation between birth weight and refractive status. Myopia was the commonest refractive error in preterm and hypermetropia in term babies. The incidence of myopia was found to be inversely proportional to birth weight. There was no significant relation between the degree of myopia and birth weight. Anisometropia was seen more in preterm with statistical significance. The incidence of anisometropia decreases with increase in birth weight.

Refractive error, Gestational age, Low birth weight