Wuhan, China – Children of women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to develop strabismus. This came in a meta-analysis Acta Ophthalmologica (2018; doi: 10.1111 / aos.13953).
Strabismus is the most common eye disease in childhood. Not treated, it usually leads to visual impairment, amblyopia, in one eye. In addition to the genetic causes that occur in a family build-up, pregnancy disturbances are suspected as a trigger. Previous studies have shown that premature birth and low birth weight increase the risk of strabismus. Tobacco smoke, which can cause premature birth, has long been discussed as a risk factor.
A team led by Zuxun Lu from Wuhan Central Technical Center has evaluated the results of 11 previous studies, including 2 from Germany. Based on 94,953 children, of whom 4,833 with strabismus, Lu came to a clear conclusion: mother's smoking during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of strabismus of 46%. The probability rate of 1.46 was statistically significant, with a confidence interval of 95% of 1.32 to 1.60.
The risk increases by up to 17% (probability rate 1.17, 1.06-1.29) with less than 10 cigarettes a day and 79% with more than 10 cigarettes a day (probability rate 1.79, 1, 39-2.31). Such a dose-response relationship is always an indication of causality in epidemiological studies, although it can not be considered as proven. Among other things, there is a lack of precise understanding of the mechanisms by which tobacco smoke pollutants interfere with vision development and trigger the non-alignment of the eyes. © heat / aerzteblatt.de