Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with posterior pole and peripheral retinal lesions in Chinese subjects with high myopia.
Methods: Three hundred and thirty-seven asymptomatic adults with high myopia of refractive error <or=-6 D were examined in a cross-sectional community-based study. All subjects underwent cycloplegic refraction, ultrasound biometry and dilated fundal examination. Statistical analysis was performed to assess factors associated with the presence of posterior pole and peripheral retinal lesions.
Results: The mean age of the 337 subjects was 36.0 years and the mean spherical equivalent refractive error was -10.2 D. Thirty-eight eyes (11.3%, 95% CI=8.1-15.2%) were found to have one or more posterior pole lesions and subjects with posterior pole lesion had significantly older age, longer axial length and higher degree of myopia (all P<0.001) compared with subjects without posterior pole lesion. After controlling for axial length, both the severity of refractive error and older age were significantly associated with the presence of posterior pole lesion (both P<0.001). For peripheral retinal lesions, 189 eyes (56.1%, 95% CI=50.6-61.5%) were found to have one or more peripheral retinal lesions. The presence of peripheral retinal lesion was associated with younger age and higher degree of refractive error (P=0.046 and 0.002, respectively).
Conclusion: Posterior pole and peripheral retinal degenerative lesions were found in a considerable proportion of subjects with high myopia. As some of these retinal lesions might predispose to visual impairment, highly myopic individuals should be educated on the symptoms of various eye conditions and seek care immediately if symptoms arise.