• Written By: Lihteh Wu, MD

    Using the Medline database, researchers performed a systematic review of all population-based epidemiology studies of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) published between January 1970 and January 2009, turning up 14 (eight of which were retrospective) that met the inclusion criteria.

    RRD incidence demonstrated significant geographic variation and ranged from 6.3 to 17.9 cases per 100,000 people. For studies with a sample size of more than 300, the median annual incidence per 100,000 population was 10.5 and the mean proportion of bilateral RRD was 7.26 percent.

    Overall, the mean prevalence of lattice degeneration and myopia were 45.7 and 47.3 percent, respectively. RRD also appeared to be associated with increasing age, with the largest annual incidence (between 19 and 27 per 100,000) occurring among those between the ages of 60 and 69. Large studies supported a secondary peak in young myopes and a higher overall incidence in males. Interestingly, the higher prevalence of myopia in Asian countries did not appear to reflect a higher RRD incidence in these countries. In addition, the overall worldwide incidence of RRD does not appear to be rising despite a linear increase in cataract surgery, which appears to be increasing the amount of pseudophakic cases.

    The authors concluded that the huge variations among the studies, likely due to differences in their design and inclusion criteria, made comparisons difficult. They suggested that a detailed, national or international registry would make possible longitudinal studies and allow for a more inclusive estimate of RRD incidence and its variation over time.