Objective: To estimate the incidence and epidemiologic characteristics of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) in Beijing, China.
Design: Prospective population-based incidence study.
Participants: The population of Beijing and its nearby suburbs (N = 6 589 000).
Main outcome measure: Incident RRD.
Results: A total of 526 patients with RRD were newly diagnosed between October 1999 and September 2000. The annual incidence was 7.98/100 000 people (95% confidence interval = 7.30-8.67). People aged 60 to 69 had the highest incidence (22.15/100 000). Incidences of 3 subtypes of RRD were 0.93/100 000 for related to blunt trauma, 0.80/100 000 for aphakic and pseudophakic, and 6.25/100 000 for nontraumatic phakic retinal detachment. A significantly higher incidence was found in males for traumatic detachment, but not for the other 2 subtypes of RRD. High myopia (> or = -6 diopters) was more prevalent in bilateral RRD (57.1%) than in the unilaterally affected patients (32.4%).
Conclusions: The incidence of RRD in Beijing is comparable to most of the reports from the developed countries. It is estimated that there are 9000 to 10 000 new cases of RRD in China each year. As 60% to 70% of the RRD patients live in small towns or remote farming areas with limited access to qualified retina-vitreous surgeons, care for these patients presents a great challenge in China.