Correlation between hyperglycemia and retinopathy of prematurity

Pediatr Int. 2014 Oct;56(5):726-30. doi: 10.1111/ped.12371. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Background: Several risk factors are attributed to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This study was done to determine any association between hyperglycemia and ROP in premature infants.

Methods: In a retrospective case-control analysis, all infants with a gestational age (GA) < 34 weeks and a birthweight (BW) < 2000 g admitted and treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Amirkola Children's Hospital, Iran, during March 2007-September 2010 were included. Hyperglycemia was defined as a plasma glucose level of >150 mg/dL during the hospital stay. The duration of being hyperglycemic was also recorded. All of these neonates were examined for ROP by a retinologist unaware of group assignment. The difference in the ROP incidence and also the severity of ROP was compared between the hyperglycemic and non-hyperglycemic infants. Matching was done for GA, BW, and also Clinical Risk Index for Babies score. The data were analyzed by t-test, χ(2) -test and logistic regression test and a P < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: In total, 155 neonates were examined. Seventy (45.2%) of them developed ROP but 85 (54.8%) did not show any evidence of ROP. The frequency of hyperglycemia in patients with ROP was 33 (47.2%), but in those without ROP, hyperglycemia occurred in five (5.9%) (P = 0.0001). The severity of ROP showed no significant differences between the two groups (P = 0.35). The logistic regression for GA and BW showed a significant correlation between hyperglycemia and ROP (P = 0.0001).

Conclusions: Hyperglycemia is an important risk factor for ROP that can be prevented along with other risk factors by accurate supervision.

Keywords: hyperglycemia; infant; premature; retinopathy of prematurity.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors