Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Children born extremely prematurely have up to a 19 times greater risk of retinal detachment later in life than peers born at term, according to a Swedish study published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In the first large population-based, long-term investigation of the association between preterm birth and later retinal detachment, the research determined that birth before 32 weeks is associated with increased risks of retinal detachment in childhood, adolescence and young adult life. The study’s findings indicate the need for ophthalmologic follow-up in children and adults born extremely and very prematurely. The U.S. has the sixth largest number of premature births, with more than 500,000 premature babies born each year.