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Keywords:

  • optic nerve hypoplasia;
  • epidemiology;
  • risk factors;
  • maternal age;
  • smoking;
  • drugs;
  • prematurity

ABSTRACT.

Objectives: To study the epidemiology of optic nerve hypoplasia.

Design and Methods: Children with optic nerve hypoplasia and visual impairment were identified through the Swedish Register of Visually Impaired Children. Pre- and perinatal characteristics were obtained from the Medical Birth Registry and by scrutinizing pregnancy and delivery records. Clinical characteristics of children with optic nerve hypoplasia are described. The following risk factors were studied: maternal age, parity, maternal smoking, gestational duration, birth weight, delivery method, Apgar score, maternal disease during pregnancy, drugs used in early pregnancy.

Results: Young maternal age, first parity, maternal smoking, preterm birth and factors associated with preterm birth were risk factors for optic nerve hypoplasia. There was an indicated association with the use of fertility drugs and antidepressant drugs.

Conclusions: Optic nerve hypoplasia is apparently associated not only with other anomolies, notably of the central nervous system, but also with signs of general disturbance in fetal development.