Assessment of risk factors for infantile cataracts using a case-control study: National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 2000-2004

Ophthalmology. 2010 Aug;117(8):1500-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.12.026. Epub 2010 Apr 3.

Abstract

Objective: To identify risk factors for infantile cataracts of unknown etiology.

Design: Case-control study.

Participants: Case infants (n = 152) and control infants (n = 4205) enrolled in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study for birth years 2000-2004.

Methods: Multivariate analysis was performed exploring associations for risk factors for bilateral and unilateral infantile cataracts of unknown etiology.

Main outcome measures: Infantile cataracts of unknown etiology.

Results: Maternal interviews were completed for 43 case infants with bilateral and 109 with unilateral infantile cataracts of unknown etiology. Very low birth weight (<1500 g) was associated with both unilateral (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 6.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-16.3) and bilateral (OR, 13.2; 95% CI, 4.2-41.1) cataracts, whereas low birth weight (1500-2499 g) was only associated with bilateral cataracts (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.3-8.1). Infants with unilateral cataracts were more likely to be born to primigravid women (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0-2.7) than women with > or =2 previous pregnancies, although this was of borderline significance. Although not significant, effect estimates were elevated suggesting a possible association between unilateral cataracts and maternal substance abuse during pregnancy, and between bilateral cataracts and urinary tract infection during pregnancy and aspirin use during pregnancy.

Conclusions: Very low birth weight is associated with both bilateral and unilateral cataracts, whereas low birth weight is associated with bilateral cataracts and primigravidity with unilateral cataracts. Other associations, although not statistically significant, suggest risk factors that merit further research.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Gestational Age
  • Gravidity
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology