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Ocular abnormalities and visual dysfunction have been associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our study assessed the risks of developing retinal diseases in individuals with ASD.
In all, 18 874 patients with ASD and 188 740 controls were selected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 2001 and 2009. The control group was matched based on demographic characteristics and medical and ophthalmological comorbidities. The hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated with Cox-regression analyses adjusted for selected confounders.
Individuals with ASD had a higher incidence of developing retinal diseases (1.48‰ vs 0.73‰, P < .001), and the diagnosis of retinal diseases occurred earlier than the controls (3.73 vs 6.28 years, P < .001). When compared to the control group, the HR of developing retinal diseases in the ASD group was 1.75 (95%: 1.04-2.94) and 7.84 (95%: 3.51-17.47) for retinal detachment. There was no association between the cumulative daily dose of atypical antipsychotics and the incidence of retinal diseases in the ASD group.
Individuals with ASD have a higher risk of developing retinal detachment and are diagnosed with retinal diseases earlier than controls. Future research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms mediating the progression of retinal diseases in the ASD population.
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