Purpose: To describe the cumulative lifetime prevalence and 5-year incidence of ocular trauma and their relation to risk factors in a defined white adult population living in a small town.
Design: Population-based cross-sectional and follow-up study.
Participants: Participants aged 43 to 86 years from the baseline Beaver Dam Eye Study that took place from 1988 through 1990 (n = 4926) and the follow-up study that took place from 1993 through 1995 (n = 3684).
Methods: Standardized interview at baseline and follow-up study.
Main outcome measures: Cumulative lifetime prevalence and 5-year incidence of self-reported history of ocular trauma.
Results: The cumulative lifetime prevalence and 5-year incidence of ocular trauma was 19.8% (n = 972) and 1.6% (n = 57), respectively. A history of trauma in both eyes was reported in 15% of the prevalent cases and 8% of the incident cases. Sharp objects caused more than half of all injuries. Persons aged 43 through 54 years were 2.5 times more likely to have a lifetime history of ocular trauma than persons aged 75 and older (odds ratios [OR], 2.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0, 3.29). Males had four times the prevalence of females (OR, 4. 42; 95% CI, 3.79, 5.16). Almost one third of all males aged 43 through 54 years reported a history of ocular trauma in their lifetime. The higher risks in the 43 through 54 age group (OR, 1.60) and male gender (OR, 1.42) were not significant among incident cases. In multivariate analysis, blue collar (adjusted OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1. 32, 1.89) and farm-related workers (adjusted OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 0.93, 1.87) had higher lifetime risks of ocular trauma compared with white collar workers. People with a history of fractures also had increased lifetime risks (adjusted OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.13, 1.52). A history of ocular trauma reported in the baseline examination was significantly associated with a higher risk of ocular trauma occurring again in the next 5 years (adjusted OR, 3.27; 95% CI, 1.76, 5.82), especially if both eyes had previous trauma (adjusted OR, 5.15; 95% CI, 2.03, 13.0).
Conclusions: One fifth of white adult Americans more than 42 years of age residing in a small town reported ocular trauma in their lifetime. This group had a three times higher risk of experiencing ocular trauma again within 5 years.