Purpose: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of epiretinal membranes (ERM) in a Japanese population.
Patients and methods: The Funagata Study examined 1758 Japanese aged 35 years or older (42% of eligible) from June 2000 to June 2002. A total of 1723 (98.0%) participants had non-mydriatic fundus photographs of the right eye to grade the presence of ERM, using the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) protocol. After age standardization, the prevalence of ERM in the right eyes of the participants included in this study was compared with that reported from right eyes of participants in the BMES and the Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES). ERM detected in eyes with diabetic retinopathy and other retinal lesions were excluded from the analysis of associations. Multiple logistic regression models were used to determine risk factors for the presence of ERM, adjusting for age and gender.
Results: There were 84 right eyes with ERM, representing 5.44% of this sample. After age standardization, the prevalence rate (5.7%) was within the range reported in the BMES (3.5%) and the BDES (6.9%). Older age (gender-adjusted odds ratio (OR) per 10 years: 1.72, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.40-2.11) and diabetes (age-gender-adjusted OR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.01-3.37) were the only two factors associated with ERM.
Conclusions: We found a similar prevalence of ERM in the Japanese as in mainly white populations. Increasing age and diabetes were risk factors for ERM in this adult Japanese population.