Prevalence and progression of myopic retinopathy in Chinese adults: the Beijing Eye Study

Ophthalmology. 2010 Sep;117(9):1763-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.01.020. Epub 2010 May 5.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence and progression of myopic retinopathy in Chinese adults.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants: The Beijing Eye Study 2001 included 4439 subjects of 5324 individuals who were invited to participate (response rate, 83.4%); the eligibility criterion was an age of 40+ years. The study was repeated in 2006, with 3251 subjects (73.2%) participating.

Methods: The participants underwent a detailed eye examination, including fundus photography. Myopic retinopathy was defined by posterior staphylomata, lacquer cracks, Fuchs' spot of the macula, and myopic chorioretinal atrophy at the posterior pole. Parapapillary atrophy was assessed separately.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence of myopic retinopathy and its change during a follow-up of 5 years.

Results: After exclusion of pseudophakic or aphakic eyes, and eyes without assessable fundus photographs, 4319 subjects (97.3%) were included in the present study. Myopic retinopathy was present in 198 eyes (2.3%+/-0.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0-2.6) of 132 participants (3.1%). Myopic retinopathy was significantly associated with higher age (P<0.001), worse best-corrected visual acuity (P<0.001), deeper anterior chamber (P = 0.04), larger optic disc (P<0.001), less age-related macular degeneration (P = 0.02; odds ratio [OR] 0.90), and greater prevalence of open-angle glaucoma (P<0.001; OR 4.42). Myopic retinopathy was not associated significantly (P>0.20) with body height and weight, gender, rural versus urban region of residence, level of education, intraocular pressure, or central corneal thickness. The prevalence of myopic retinopathy increased significantly (P<0.001) with increasing myopic refractive error, from 3.8% in eyes with a myopic refractive error of < -4.0 diopters to 89.6% in eyes with a myopic refractive error of at least -10.0 diopters. At the 5-year follow-up examination, enlargement of the chorioretinal atrophy at the posterior fundus was observed in 9% of the eyes.

Conclusions: Myopic retinopathy was present in 3.1% of subjects aged 40+ years who resided in the Greater Beijing area. Myopic retinopathy was associated with increased age, worse best-corrected visual acuity, deeper anterior chamber, larger optic disc, less age-related macular degeneration, and higher prevalence of open-angle glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / ethnology*
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Diseases / ethnology*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Visual Acuity