Strabismus Surgery Decreases the Risk of Injuries in Pediatric Patients in the OptumLabs Data Warehouse.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Previous studies have shown an association between injury risk and strabismus in aged Medicare beneficiaries and children. The injury prevalence in strabismic children was 30% in a study of >10 million patients in the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. The purpose of this study was to determine whether strabismus surgery decreases the risk of injury. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: The OptumLabs Data Warehouse is a deidentified, longitudinal health database that was queried for strabismic patients aged <19 years. The patients who underwent strabismus surgery were compared with those strabismic patients who did not undergo surgery for injury. Injury risk (fractures, musculoskeletal injuries, and head injuries) during their insurance enrollment was calculated in the nonsurgical patients after their first strabismus claim and compared with the risk in surgical patients postoperatively. RESULTS: There were 344,794 patients with strabismus. Surgery was performed in 26,459 (7.7%). Esotropia was the most common diagnosis (n = 181,195, 52.6%) followed by exotropia (n = 161,712, 46.9%) and hypertropia (n = 43,831, 12.7%). Within these groups, patients with hypertropia were significantly more likely to undergo surgery (24.2%) compared with patients with esotropia and exotropia (10.2% and 9.6%, respectively). Injuries were diagnosed after the first strabismus claim in 94,960 (29.8%) nonsurgical patients vs 5790 (21.9%) postsurgical patients (P < .001) with a mean follow-up of 4.3 ± 3.1 vs 3.8 ± 3.1 years, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio for injuries was 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83-0.87) for the risk of any injury after strabismus surgery. The hazard ratio was significantly decreased after surgery for each type of strabismus: esotropia (0.91, 95% CI: 0.88-0.94), exotropia (0.82, 95% CI: 0.80-0.85), and hypertropia (0.89, 95% CI: 0.85-0.93). DISCUSSION: Strabismus surgery was associated with a 15% decrease in the risk of physical injury over approximately 4 years of follow-up. Surgery may be a factor in decreasing injury risk in strabismic patients, particularly in exotropia. Given the large number of children with strabismus in the United States, further assessment of strategies such as strabismus surgery to reduce injuries in children with strabismus is needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pineles, SL; Repka, MX; Yu, F; Velez, FG; Perez, C; Sim, D; Coleman, AL

Published Date

  • April 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 236 /

Start / End Page

  • 147 - 153

PubMed ID

  • 34283972

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1891

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ajo.2021.07.005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States