Postnatal Steroids Tied to Higher Ocular Risk for Premature Infants

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Postnatal Steroids Tied to Higher Ocular Risk for Premature Infants
Postnatal Steroids Tied to Higher Ocular Risk for Premature Infants

MONDAY, Aug. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Postnatal corticosteroid use may increase premature infants' risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), according to research published recently in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Tammy Movsas, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,472 infants with birth weights of <500 g. The infants were all discharged alive from 167 neonatal intensive care units between 1996 and 2013.

The team found that the risk of ROP was 60 percent higher for infants treated with steroids. The risk of developing an advanced case of ROP was 70 percent higher if they were on the medications.

"Clinicians need to use their best judgment to balance the positive effects from steroids on developing lungs with potential negative effects on developing eyes in very premature infants," Movsas said in a journal news release.

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