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A. Akinwale, G. Abedi, A. M. Fujii, V. R. LaRocca; Incidence of Retinopathy of Prematurity Among Neonates at Boston Medical Center. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):4687.
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The primary aim is to report the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The secondary aim is to analyze correlation of ROP incidence with the race and birth weight and to identify the populations at risk.
This is a retrospective chart review of ROP examinations of the neonates admitted to Boston Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) from 1/1/06 to 1/1/08. Examinations were performed by one pediatric attending. Two-tailed t-test and Z-test with 95% confidence interval were used to analyze the means.
A total of 477 neonates were admitted to NICU between 1/1/06 to 1/108. Of those, 58 met the criteria for examinations and 55 out of 58 neonates (94%) found to have ROP. Demographic distribution of neonates based on race was as follow: Whites: 15.7%; Blacks: 44.5%; Hispanics: 27.38% and Asians: 2.29%. The incidence of ROP among whites was 18% compared to 47.4% in blacks and 20.63% in hispanics. The ROP severity was sub-analyzed based on zones and stages. There was a statistically significant difference between blacks with immature zone II compared to whites (z-value: 4.26) and hispanics (z-value: 2.5). There were no other differences in severity of disease between different races. Neonates were also stratified based on birth weight. There was a significant difference in birth weight of black versus whites (p-value: 0.0029) with whites weighing an average of 1501.5 grams versus blacks weighing an average of 1020.2 grams. There was no difference in gestational age in different racial groups. On subsequent follow-ups 77.5% of the eyes were fully vascularized, 1.2% continued to have ROP and 12.06% were lost to followup.
The incidence of premature birth is the highest among blacks. In addition, black neonates have the lowest average birth weight and are at an increased risk for ROP followed by hispanics followed by whites. Asian neonates have the lowest rate of ROP. There is a negative correlation between birth weight and severity of ROP where the lower weigh infants demonstrate a more severe form of ROP. The gestation age of neonates between different races remains the same without influencing severity of ROP.
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