Aim: To report the trends in incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) within Lothian, a geographically defined region in South East Scotland over a 15-year period from 1990-2004.
Methods: This was a prospective observational study of all infants born with gestational age (GA) <32 weeks and/or birth weight (BW) <1500grams who were born to mothers resident in Lothian between January 1st 1990 and December 31st 2004. Eligible infants underwent eye screening by two experienced paediatric ophthalmologists (BF and EW). Lothian population data was obtained from the Scottish Health Service. The trends in survival rates, incidence and treatment of ROP were analyzed from 1990-1994, 1995-1999 and 2000-2004.
Results: Lothian population data showed a steady decline in the number of live births from 1990-2004. The proportion of babies born with BW<1500g and/or GA<32 weeks remained constant (p=0.271 using chi-square test), though the proportion of these babies surviving to 42 weeks corrected gestation increased from 1990-2004 (p<0.001 using chi-square test for trend). There was a statistically significant linear trend towards a reduction in the number of babies undergoing treatment for ROP throughout the study period (p<0.01 using chi-square test for trend). A reduction in the incidence of any degree of ROP and severe (stage 3 or greater) ROP was also observed although this did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: There was a significant increase in survival of infants with BW<1500g and/or GA<32weeks together with a significant reduction in the number of infants treated for ROP in the Lothian region of South East Scotland from 1990-2004.
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