Prevalence of Ophthalmologic Diagnoses in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using the Optum Dataset: APopulation-Based Study

Melinda Y. Chang, Danielle Doppee, Fei Yu, Claudia Perez, Anne L. Coleman, Stacy L. Pineles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 1.85% of children in the United States and is increasing in prevalence. Any relationship between ophthalmologic disorders and ASD is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to calculate the prevalence of ophthalmologic disorders in children with ASD. Design: Population-based retrospective cohort study. Methods: SETTING: claims data from Optum Labs Data Warehouse, a longitudinal real-world data asset with de-identified administrative claims and electronic health records data. STUDY POPULATION: children ≤18 years of age at the time of first claim between 2007 and 2013. Observation: diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) or autistic disorder (AD) according to International Classification of Disease-9th edition (ICD-9) codes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: prevalence of an ophthalmologic diagnosis (amblyopia, strabismus, optic neuropathy, nystagmus, or retinopathy of prematurity) by ICD-9 codes in typically developing (TD) controls and children with PDD and AD. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) for each diagnosis were calculated using multivariate logistic regression models. Results: Claims from more than 10 million children were included. The prevalence of any ophthalmologic diagnosis considered in this study was 3.5% in TD controls, 12.5% in children with PDD (adjusted OR, 3.22; 95% confidence interval [CI, ], 3.16-3.29; P < .001), and 13.5% in children with AD (adjusted OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 3.15-3.31; P < .001). Conclusions: Population-based data suggested an increased risk of ophthalmologic diagnoses in children with ASD. Future research is necessary to further clarify the relationship between ophthalmologic disorders and autistic symptoms and severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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