To investigate the incidence of infantile esotropia from a defined population in the United States over a 30-year period. Recent reports from the United Kingdom have suggested that strabismus or strabismus surgery is occurring less frequently today than in previous years.
The medical records of all patients diagnosed with infantile esotropia within Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1965, through December 31, 1994, were retrospectively reviewed.
The birth prevalence of infantile esotropia during the 30-year period was 25 (95% confidence interval, 21-29) per 10 000, or 1 in 403 live births. Although there were slightly more cases of infantile esotropia in the earlier years (45 from 1965-1974, 51 from 1975-1984, and 34 from 1985-1994), the change in incidence over time was not statistically significant (P = .32). The mean number of surgeries performed on each patient in this cohort was similar during the 30-year study: 1.8 for those diagnosed from 1965 to 1974, 1.9 for 1975 to 1984, and 1.6 for 1985 to 1994.
The incidence of infantile esotropia in this population has not significantly changed from 1965 through 1994. Moreover, the rate of surgical intervention over these years is similar for this patient population.