Strabismus link to mental health

December 3, 2008

Paediatric strabismus, particularly exotropia, increases the likelihood of psychiatric disease in later life, according to study results published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

Paediatric strabismus, particularly exotropia, increases the likelihood of psychiatric disease in later life, according to study results published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

Brian Mohney, MD of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, US and colleagues conducted a retrospective medical record review of 407 children diagnosed with strabismus between 1985 and 1994 (exotropia, n=141; esotropia, n=266) and monitored the incidence of psychiatric disease diagnoses. Age- and gender-matched control subjects were also assessed (n=407).

Of the strabismic subjects, 41.3% were later diagnosed with psychiatric illness, compared with 30.7% of control subjects. Patients with exotropia were 3.1 times more likely than control subjects to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder; esotropic patients had the same rate of psychiatric illness diagnosis as control subjects. Intermittent exotropia was also associated with a greater number of disorders and hospitalizations for incidents related to psychiatric disorders.

The team concluded that exotropia, particularly intermittent exotropia, is correlated to an increased risk of incidence and degree of psychiatric illness.