Retinopathy of Prematurity Is Not Caused By Low Birth Weight

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye in a premature infant.  It is a condition most often associated with babies born at less than 30 weeks weighing less than 3 pounds.

A study appearing in the March 4, 2011 online version of the journal Eye sought to determine the link between retinopathy of prematurity and birth weight.  Researchers found that though lower birth weight babies were more likely to have ROP than other babies, birth weight and the amount of weight that these babies gain in the first 4 to 6 weeks of life was not in itself a direct cause of the condition.  Source:

The good news is that most babies born with ROP will grow up free of vision problems.  About 1 in 10 may develop more severe retinal diseases.