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Medicina 2018, 54(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54010006

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Amblyopia among Refractive Errors in an Eastern European Population

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
2
Clinic of Paediatric Surgery, Emergency Children’s Hospital Louis Turcanu, 300011 Timisoara, Romania
3
Department of Biophysics, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract

Background and objective: Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual impairment in children and adults and is very common during childhood. The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence and the risk factors of amblyopia in a pediatric population with refractive errors from an Eastern European country. Materials and methods: A total of 1231 children aged 5–16 years, who had refractive errors and were examined from January to August 2017, were enrolled in a cross-sectional population-based study. Every child underwent a complete ophthalmological exam. Amblyopia was defined as a visual acuity (VA) of less than 0.63. The study respected the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS) criteria for defining amblyopia (MEPEDS, 2008). Parents participated in a face-to-face interview. The questionnaire contained details about their family history of amblyopia; the child’s maternal nutritional status in the preconception period; their history of maternal smoking or work in a toxic environment; the child’s birth, and the child’s history of congenital naso-lacrimal duct obstruction (CNLDO). Results: Amblyopia was identified in 2.8% of the participants. The ocular conditions hyperopia (p = 0.0079), astigmatism (p = 0.046), anisometropia (p < 0.001), esotropia (p < 0.001), exotropia (p = 0.0195), and CNLDO (p < 0.001), as well as a family history of amblyopia (p < 0.001), were associated with amblyopia. The non-ocular risk factors for amblyopia that were found in the study included low birth weight (p < 0.0009), prematurity (p < 0.001), an Apgar score under 7 (p = 0.0008), maternal age, maternal smoking history or work in toxic environment (p < 0.001), and maternal body mass index in the preconception period (p < 0.003). Conclusions: Some of the risk factors we identified for amblyopia are modifiable factors. This is an important observation as an adequate health education program can provide the relevant information for future mothers that will allow for a better management of the condition. We also wanted to highlight the need for amblyopia screening starting from the age of 3 years in case of significant parental refractive errors, strabismus, prematurity, and maternal risk factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: amblyopia; prevalence; risk factors; refractive errors amblyopia; prevalence; risk factors; refractive errors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mocanu, V.; Horhat, R. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Amblyopia among Refractive Errors in an Eastern European Population. Medicina 2018, 54, 6.

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