Cataract in childhood: socioeconomic and gestational profiles and neuropsychomotor development

PURPOSE: To analyze the socioeconomic and gestational profiles, and the neuropsychomotor development of patients with infantile cataract cared for at a medical ophthalmologic center in Pernambuco state, Brazil. METHODS: A standardized questionnaire was applied, in October and November 2003, to the parents of children who underwent child cataract surgery at the Altino Ventura Foundation. RESULTS: Of the 40 patients, 23 were females (57.0%) and 17 males (43.0%). Most of the mothers (65.0%) and fathers (55.0%) of the children informed that they had not finished elementary school. The family income was between 1 and 3 minimum wages in 70.0% of the cases. As for the parental marital status, 40.0% of them were married. Thirty-nine mothers (97.5%) underwent prenatal exams, 37 reported that they had not received rubella immunization (92.5%), and 13 reported rubella during their pregnancy (32.5%). Three mothers reported consanguinity with their husbands and 5 were exposed to medications during pregnancy. Most of the patients had a neuropsychomotor development within limits considered normal by other studies. Fourteen patients (35.0%) were 6 years or older when the interview was performed. Eleven (78.6%) of these children attended school and 45.4% of them had to repeat the school grade. CONCLUSION: It was observed in the studied sample that the patients were characterized by being part of a low-income population. Less than half of the interviewed parents were married and the patients presented low school performance. Insufficiencies in the health system as regards immunization against rubella was identified.

Cataract; Cataract extraction; Social class; Socioeconomic factors; Pregnancy; Child development; Child

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