Incidence of retinopathy of prematurity over the last decade in the Central Netherlands

Neonatology. 2010;98(2):137-42. doi: 10.1159/000280386. Epub 2010 Feb 12.


Background and objectives: To retrospectively analyze changes in incidence and risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) over two periods, 10 years apart, in the central Netherlands.

Methods: Data of 570 infants admitted between 2001 and 2005, screened for ROP according to the Dutch National guideline, were compared to those of 538 infants admitted between 1991 and 1995.

Results: Incidence of ROP decreased significantly over the last decade (40.9% in 1991-1995 vs. 23.3% in 2001-2005, p < 0.001), together with incidence of severe ROP (stage >or=3) (3.3 vs. 1.2%, p < 0.05). In infants with a birth weight (BW) <1,000 g incidence of ROP dropped significantly (67.0 vs. 41.8%, p < 0.001), as well as incidence of severe ROP (8.1 vs. 3.0%, p < 0.05). For infants with a BW >or=1,000 g incidence of ROP also declined significantly (27.1 vs. 13.0%, p < 0.001), that of severe ROP remained unchanged (0.8 vs. 0.3%). In both periods gestational age, duration of artificial ventilation, small for gestational age (SGA) and postnatal steroids were independent risk factors for ROP.

Conclusions: In the central Netherlands, incidence of ROP and severe ROP has significantly decreased, also in infants with BW <1,000 g. Risk factors remained unchanged.

MeSH terms

  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Mass Screening
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors