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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Oct;51(10):4963-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5400. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

The epidemiology and socioeconomic associations of retinal detachment in Scotland: a two-year prospective population-based study.

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Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.



Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a common ophthalmic emergency. Population-based data on primary RRD incidence has been variable, with large differences reported. This study is the first large-scale prospective examination of the incidence of primary RRD in the United Kingdom.


The authors established a two-year prospective, population-based observational study recruiting all cases of primary RRD in Scotland. The annual incidence was calculated and analyzed in relation to age, sex, refractive error, and lens status. A national, population-based tool, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), was used to examine the socioeconomic distribution of all incident cases.


A total of 1244 cases were identified during the study period from a population of 5,168,500 yielding an annual incidence of 12.05 per 100,000 population (95% confidence interval, 11.35-12.70). The age-specific incidence increased to a peak in both sexes in the 60- to 69-year age group. RRD was significantly more frequent in males than in females (14.70 vs. 8.75 per 100,000; P < 0.001). Of the cases without previous intraocular surgery, 53.2% were myopic, with a spherical equivalent refractive error > -1 D, 23.4% had undergone cataract surgery, and 10.4% had sustained traumatic injury. A strong association was found between RRD incidence and affluence, with a significant rising trend across quintiles of deprivation.


The estimated annual incidence of primary RRD in Scotland is 12.05 per 100,000. Based on this estimate, there are approximately 7300 new cases annually in the United Kingdom. RRD incidence increases with age, is more common in men and right eyes, and is strongly associated with affluence.

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