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Minerva Pediatrica 2018 Jul 02

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.18.05233-7


language: English

Early childhood eye diseases and perinatal risk factors. Potential of record linkage between current information flows

Riccardo PERTILE 1 , Cristina TRETTEL 2, Lucia BOMBARDA 1, Elisabetta RACANO 3, Silvano PIFFER 1

1 Department of Clinical and Evaluative Epidemiology, Trento Health Service, Trento, Italy; 2 Orthoptic Service, Department of Prevention, Trento Health Service, Trento, Italy; 3 Pediatric Low Vision Specialist Ophthalmic Unit, Rovereto Hospital, Rovereto, Trento, Italy


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to analyse the occurrence of specific maternal, obstetric or neonatal factors, by performing a comparison between children with refractive error, strabismus and/or amblyopia (cases) and unaffected children (controls) in the province of Trento (north-east Italy).
METHODS: In 2012-2014, 14,346 children attending the second year of nursery school were assessed through the pre-school orthoptic screening scheme (covering 91% of the pre-school population). Record linkage was performed between the orthoptic screening database and birth records (birth confirmation certificate database) for the corresponding birth cohorts (2008-2010), to examine specific maternal factors (age, smoking, nationality/race), obstetric factors (type of delivery) and neonatal factors (gestational age, weight at birth, Apgar score, congenital birth defects, hospitalisation at birth). The correlations were investigated using univariate and multivariate analysis in accordance with the logistic regression method.
RESULTS: During orthoptic screening, 6.4% of children were found to have at least one refractive error, with astigmatism being the most common condition (5.1%). 1.9% of children were found to have strabismus and 1.8% amblyopia. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of developing a refractive error is associated with: maternal age ≥45 years, foreign nationality, vacuum-assisted delivery and neonatal weight <1500 grams. An excessive risk of strabismus was observed in children whose mother had smoked during pregnancy (adjusted OR 1.64).
CONCLUSIONS: Pre-school orthoptic screening is a well-consolidated practice in the province of Trento, with adhesion values consistently over 90%. Studies of this type show the potential of record linkage between current information flows.

KEY WORDS: Orthoptic screening - Refractive errors - Amblyopia - Strabismus - Maternal smoking

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