Certain subgroups within the population appears to be at higher risk of developing comitant strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) and should be identified and monitored to allow for earlier detection, according to a study by Gail D. E. Maconachie, B.Med.Sci., and colleagues of the University of Leicester, England.

Researchers reviewed available medical literature. Significant risk factors for strabismus reported by the studies included low birth weight, cicatricial retinopathy of prematurity, prematurity, maternal smoking throughout pregnancy, anisometropia (unequal refractive power in the two eyes), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and inheritance, according to study results.

"It is evident through this review that there are population subgroups who appear to be at higher risk of developing strabismus...infants of mothers who smoked throughout pregnancy, premature infants with ROP (in particular cicatricial ROP), individuals born with low birth weight but not premature, and those with a family history of strabismus (particularly accommodative esotropia)," the authors conclude.