Purpose: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) causes childhood blindness globally in prematurely born infants. Although increased levels of oxygen supply lead to increased survival and reduced frequency of cerebral palsy, increased incidence of ROP is reported.
Methods: With the help of a Swedish register for ROP, SWEDROP, national and regional incidences of ROP and frequencies of treatment were evaluated from 2008 to 2015 (n = 5734), as well as before and after targets of provided oxygen changed from 85-89% to 91-95% in 2014.
Results: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) was found in 31.9% (1829/5734) of all infants with a gestational age (GA) of <31 weeks at birth and 5.7% of the infants (329/5734) had been treated for ROP. Analyses of the national data revealed an increased incidence of ROP during the 8-year study period (p = 0.003), but there was no significant increase in the frequency of treatment. There were significant differences between the seven health regions of Sweden, regarding both incidence of ROP and frequency of treatment (p < 0.001). Comparison of regional data before and after the new oxygen targets revealed a significant increase in treated ROP in one region [OR: 2.24 (CI: 1.11-4.49), p = 0.024] and a borderline increase in one other [OR: 3.08 (CI: 0.99-9.60), p = 0.052].
Conclusion: The Swedish national ROP register revealed an increased incidence of ROP during an 8-year period and significant regional differences regarding the incidence of ROP and frequency of treatment.
Keywords: incidence; oxygen; retinopathy of prematurity; treatment.
© 2017 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.