Racial difference in the incidence of retinal detachment in Singapore

Arch Ophthalmol. 1999 Mar;117(3):379-83. doi: 10.1001/archopht.117.3.379.


Objective: To determine the incidence of retinal detachment (RD) operations in a multiracial Southeast Asian population.

Design: Population-based incidence study using a universal medical savings database in Singapore.

Methods: Information on all RD operations performed for rhegmatogenous RD (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 361.0) between 1993 and 1996 was retrieved and analyzed from a population-wide, government-administered medical savings database. Exudative, tractional, and unoperated-on rhegmatogenous RD are excluded. The 1990 Singapore population census was used to allow an estimation of age-, sex-, and race-specific annual incidence of RD.

Results: Between 1993 and 1996, 1126 RD operations were performed on Singapore residents. The average annual incidence of RD operations was 10.5 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.2-10.9). The annual incidence was highest for Chinese (age-adjusted incidence, 11.6 per 100,000), followed by Malays (7.0 per 100,000), and lowest for Indians (3.9 per 100,000). The age-adjusted relative risk of RD operation for Chinese compared with Indians was 3.0 (95% CI, 2.9-3.1). Males were twice as likely as females to require RD surgery (age-adjusted relative risk, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.7-2.4). Chinese men 40 years and older had a 30.9 times higher risk (95% CI, 9.9-96.1) than Indian females younger than 40 years.

Conclusion: The incidence of RD is strongly associated with male sex and ethnic origin.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Medical Savings Accounts / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Detachment / ethnology*
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery
  • Risk Factors
  • Scleral Buckling / statistics & numerical data
  • Singapore / epidemiology