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Prevalence, Pattern and Risk Factors of Retinal Diseases Among an Elderly Population in Nepal: The Bhaktapur Retina Study

Authors Thapa R, Khanal S, Tan HS, Thapa SS, van Rens GHMB

Received 19 May 2020

Accepted for publication 9 July 2020

Published 24 July 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 2109—2118


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Raba Thapa,1 Shankar Khanal,2 Hendra Stevie Tan,3 Suman Shumsher Thapa,1 Gerardus Hermanus Maria Bartholomeus van Rens3

1Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Kathmandu, Nepal; 2Central Department of Statistics, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal; 3Department of Ophthalmology, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Vrije University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Correspondence: Raba Thapa
Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Bagmati Bridge, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel +977-1-4493775
Fax +977-1-4474937

Introduction: Retinal diseases are an emerging cause of visual impairment in the developing world. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence, pattern, and risk factors of retinal diseases in Nepal.
Methods: This is a population-based, cross-sectional study conducted from 2013 to 2015. The sample size was 2100 subjects age 60 years and above from 30 clusters of Bhaktapur district, Nepal. Detailed history, visual acuity, and anterior and posterior segment examinations were performed. Blood sugar and blood pressure were measured.
Results: Complete information was available for 1860 (88.57%) subjects. Mean age was 69.64± 7.31 years, ranging from 60 to 95 years. The prevalence of any retinal disorder was 52.37% (95% confidence interval (CI): 50.07– 54.66%). The prevalence of retinal disorders increased with ageing: 51.26% between 60 and 69 years and 53.05% among those age 80 years and above. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was the most common retinal disease (35.43%), followed by hypertensive retinopathy (4.35%), epiretinal membrane (ERM) (3.66%), branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) (2.90%), and diabetic retinopathy (DR) (2.15%). Other rare retinal disorders included myopic fundus (0.86%), chorioretinal scar (0.54%), retinal holes (0.32%), retinitis pigmentosa (0.32%), retinal detachment (0.16%), and coloboma (0.11%). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, those with prior cataract surgery (odds ratio (OR), 1.71; 95% CI: 1.32– 2.22, p < 0.001) and systemic hypertension (OR, 1.21; 95% CI: 1.001– 1.47, p = 0.049) had significantly increased retinal disorders.
Conclusion: Prevalence of retinal disorder was 52.37% at age 60 years and above. AMD, hypertensive retinopathy, ERM, BRVO, and DR were the most common retinal disorders. Retinal disorders increased with ageing. Retinal disorders were found associated with hypertension and prior cataract surgery. Timely screening, control of blood sugar and high blood pressure, and regular eye check-ups could help to save vision from retinal diseases.

Keywords: retinal diseases, age-related macular degeneration, hypertensive retinopathy, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, epiretinal membrane

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