Purpose: To create a computer-based national register for epidemiological and clinical studies on retinal detachment (RD) for large populations over time.
Methods: A database system was developed for Microsoft Windows 95 and NT platforms to support a multi-user environment, comprising 117 fields (270 parameters). The system is equipped with statistical search programs for statistical differences and dependencies between fields and with graphical display.
Results: Information is structured into six subgroups: identification of patient, history of RD, preoperative ocular status, operations, recurrence, and follow-up. Lists of diagnoses, methods and surgical procedures facilitate data input. The drop-out frequency ('null') and follow-up recording are automatically monitored. Mean visual acuity is calculated using logMAR units. Data from the first 1116 patients yield a high RD incidence of 14 per 100,000 inhabitants in an urban area. Mean age at surgery for women was 62.9 years (95% confidence interval 61.54-64.35) and for men 58.3 years (95% confidence interval 57.12-59.42). Myopia was more common before the age of 50 (mean -4.16 D, 95% confidence interval -5.00 to -3.32) than at higher age (mean -0.84 D, 95% confidence interval -1.19 to -0.49). Cataract surgery had previously been performed in 30.8% of the eyes and preoperative macular detachment was present in 52.3%.
Conclusion: This database register is a useful and powerful tool for population-based studies on epidemiological and clinical parameters of RD. Detailed analyses of retinal reattachment surgery in relation to preoperative findings can be performed in large case materials.