• Written By: Warren Hill, MD
    Cataract/Anterior Segment

    An analysis of medical records and insurance claims from Taiwan’s Bureau of National Health Insurance finds a cumulative six-year retinal detachment rate of 1.90 percent among men, compared with .56 percent in women.

    Like other studies, this long-term analysis finds that being younger than 50, having an axial length greater than 26 mm and a history of retinal detachment correlates significantly with retinal detachment. But this study also finds that the impact of age and axial length is greater in men than in women. Men who are older than 50, myopic or receiving phacoemulsification as the method of cataract removal have a significantly higher risk of pseudophakic retinal detachment than women.

    Warren Hill, MD, said this study is helpful for physicians estimating the risks and benefits of cataract extraction before surgery, especially in myopic men.

    “Retinal detachment in the high myopes following cataract surgery continues to be a hot topic, especially in the setting of clear lens extraction,” Dr. Hill, said. “It carries enormous implications for the moderate to high myope wishing to take advantage of the newer premium channel IOLs.”

    “Richard Mackool, MD, also made the same observation not long ago that males with an axial length greater than 25.0 mm are at significantly increased risk for pseudophakic retinal detachment. This was from his series of 800 eyes undergoing uncomplicated phacoemulsification. Interestingly, Dr. Mackool did not see an increase with Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy, which contradicts the literature, but may be an observation ahead of its time.”

    The study’s authors conclude that their findings emphasize the importance of a regular fundus examination and possible prophylactic treatment for any suspicious retinal lesion in myopic men.