Incidence of retinopathy of prematurity and risk factors among premature infants at a neonatal intensive care unit in Canada

J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. Jan-Feb 2013;50(1):27-32. doi: 10.3928/01913913-20121127-02. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


Purpose: To study the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in a neonatal intensive care unit and obtain information on risk factors associated with ROP.

Methods: Four hundred twenty-three infants were screened for ROP between July 2006 and July 2010. Demographic information, clinical data, and risk factors were reviewed.

Results: The incidence was 40.4% (171 infants) for ROP, 9.2% (39 infants) for severe ROP, and 5.67% (24 infants) for laser treatment. Mean gestational age and birth weight were significantly lower among infants with ROP versus those without ROP (26 ± 0.13 vs 28.55 ± 0.12 weeks, P < .0001 and 840.5 ±17.49 vs 1,190.24 ± 20.20 g, P < .0001, respectively). Birth weight (P < .001), gestational age (P < .001), mechanical ventilation therapy (P = .039), and necrotizing enterocolitis (P = .019) were independent risk factors for ROP.

Conclusion: Gestational age and birth weight were the most significant risk factors for developing ROP. The study population had an elevated percentage of infants with birth weight less than 1,000 g (extremely low birth weight), yet there was no corresponding increase in severe ROP incidence and treatment when compared to other studies.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / epidemiology*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors