Racial difference in the incidence of retinal detachment in Singapore

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Archives of Ophthalmology








Objective: To determine the incidence of retinal detachment (RD) operations in a multiracial Southeast Asian population. Design: Population- based incidence study using a universal medical savings database in Singapore. Methods: Information on all RD operations performed for rhegmatogenous RD (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 361.0) between 1993 and 1996 was retrieved and analyzed from a population-wide, government-administered medical savings database. Exudative, tractional, and unoperated-on rhegmatogenous RD are excluded. The 1990 Singapore population census was used to allow an estimation of age-, sex-, and race-specific annual incidence of RD. Results: Between 1993 and 1996, 1126 RD operations were performed on Singapore residents. The average annual incidence of RD operations was 10.5 per 100 000 population (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.2-10.9). The annual incidence was highest for Chinese (age-adjusted incidence, 11.6 per 100 000), followed by Malays (7.0 per 100 000), and lowest for Indians (3.9 per 100 000). The age-adjusted relative risk of RD operation for Chinese compared with Indians was 3.0 (95% CI, 2.9-3.1). Males were twice as likely as females to require RD surgery (age-adjusted relative risk, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.7-2.4). Chinese men 40 years and older had a 30.9 times higher risk (95% CI, 9.9-96.1) than Indian females younger than 40 years. Conclusion: The incidence of RD is strongly associated with male sex and ethnic origin.