Earlier Detection Of Infant Cataracts Needed

February 05, 1999

National cross sectional study of detection of congenital and infantile cataract in the United Kingdom: role of childhood screening and surveillance

In twenty-nine per cent of cases, infant congenital and infantile cataracts are not detected by health professionals before the age of one year, despite current UK recommendations to routinely examine newborn babies, says a study in this week's BMJ carried out through the British Congenital Cataract Interest Group.

Cataract in infancy is an important preventable cause of visual impairment and blindness in childhood. Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, London, state that infant cataract management has improved considerably in recent decades with increased recognition of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

The authors suggest that better training and co-ordination between paediatric, primary care and ophthalmic health professionals are needed to facilitate early diagnosis and increase the proportion of cataract cases detected by screening before the age of three months.

Contact:

Dr Jugnoo S Rahi, Clinical Lecturer on behalf of the British Congenital Cataract Interest Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and Ophthalmology, Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London c/o Anna Barlow, Press office j.rahi@ich.ucl.ac.uk
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BMJ

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