Prevalence and sex differences of psychiatric disorders in young adults who had intermittent exotropia as children

Jeff A. McKenzie, Jason A. Capo, Kevin J. Nusz, Nancy N. Diehl, Brian G. Mohney

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Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and sex differences of mental disorders diagnosed among young adults who had intermittent exotropia (IXT) as children. Methods: The medical records of all children (<19 years) diagnosed as having IXT as residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1975, through December 31, 1994, and their randomly selected nonstrabismic birth- and sex-matched controls (1:1) were retrospectively reviewed. Results: A mental health disorder was diagnosed in 97 (53.0%) of the 183 patients with childhood IXT followed to a mean age of 22 years compared with 55 (30.1%) controls (P<.001). Patients with IXT were 2.7 (95% confidence interval, 1.7-4.1) times more likely to develop a psychiatric illness than controls. A mental health disorder was diagnosed in 63% (41 of 65) and 47% (56 of 118) of males and females with IXT, respectively, compared with 33% (22 of 66) and 28% (33 of 117) of male and female controls, respectively. Additionally, males with IXT had a greater use of psychotropic medication (P=.003), psychiatric emergency department visits (P<.001), psychiatric hospital admissions (P=.04), suicide attempts (P=.004), and suicidal ideation (P=.002) than controls, and females with IXT had more suicidal ideation (P=.02) than controls. Conclusions: Children diagnosed as having IXT, especially males, are more likely to develop mental illness by the third decade of life compared with children without strabismus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-747
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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