Demographic trends of patients undergoing ophthalmic surgery in Ontario, Canada: a population-based study

BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2023 May;8(1):e001253. doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2023-001253.


Objective: In this study, we investigated the demographic trends of patients undergoing ophthalmic surgeries based on geographic region, priority level, and sex.

Methods and analysis: This population-based retrospective cohort study used the Ontario Health Wait Times Information System (WTIS) database from 2010 to 2021. The WTIS contains non-emergent surgical case volume and wait time data for 14 different regions, three priority levels (high, medium and low) and six ophthalmic subspecialty procedures.

Results: Over the study period, on average 83 783 women and 65 555 men underwent ophthalmic surgery annually in Ontario. Overall, women waited an aggregate mean of 4.9 days longer than men to undergo surgery, and this disparity persisted across all geographic and priority stratifications. The average age at the time of surgery has been increasing slowly at a rate of 0.02 years/year (95% CI 0.00 to 0.05), with women being 0.6 years older than men overall.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that women have consistently longer wait times than men. The results of this study may be a sign of systemic sex-based differences that could be affecting women who need to be further explored for health equity.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Public health; Treatment Surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Equity*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Ophthalmology*
  • Retrospective Studies