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R. A. Barraza, J. A. McKenzie, N. N. Diehl, B. G. Mohney; Surgical Correction of Childhood Intermittent Exotropia Does Not Influence the Development of Mental Illness. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1992.
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We recently demonstrated that children with intermittent exotropia, compared to age- and gender-matched controls, are at an increased risk for developing mental illness by early adulthood. The purpose of this study was to assess whether surgical intervention, or the timing of intervention, had any effect on the prevalence of mental illness.
The medical records of all children (<19 years) diagnosed with intermittent exotropia (n = 183) as residents of Olmsted Country, Minnesota, between January 1, 1975, and December 31, 1994, were retrospectively reviewed for parameters concerning treatment and the development of mental illness.
Ninety-seven (53.3%) of the 183 children were diagnosed with a mental illness when followed to a mean age of 23.3 years (range, 6 to 41 years). Thirty three (34%) of the 97 children who developed mental illness underwent surgery while the remaining 64 did not have surgery (p=0.75). Neither age at surgery (< 10 years of age) (p=0.98) nor success at surgery (< 10 prism diopters) (p=0.66) were associated with a decreased occurrence of mental illness by early adulthood. Additionally, of the 86 patients who did not develop mental illness, strabismus surgery, when it occurred, was not more common (p=0.71) or at a younger age (p=0.15) when compared to the 97 patients who later developed mental illness.
Strabismus surgery, regardless of success or age at surgery, for children with intermittent exotropia did not decrease or otherwise alter the development of mental illness by early adulthood.
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