Ethnic variation in vitreoretinal surgery: differences in clinical presentation and outcome



The true prevalence of retinal detachment and other vitreoretinal disorders in different ethnic groups is not well-established. Understanding differences in vitreoretinal disease prevalence is important to appropriately allocate resources to meet demand where ethnic variation in the community exists. The aim of this study is to provide hospital-based data on the proportion of people with vitreoretinal disorders in the 3 main ethnic groups in the United Kingdom: Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean, and South Asian.


A retrospective study was performed on 3,262 patients undergoing vitreoretinal procedures for various indications between 2001 and 2014 from a single center in London, UK.


The majority of patients with known ethnicity were Caucasian (80.19%) followed by Afro-Caribbean (12.31%) and Asian (5.20%). The mean age of the study population was 59.64 ± 15.75 years, with 57.28% males. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) was the common indication for surgery across all ethnic groups (54.83%). Caucasians were older, on average, compared to other ethnic groups at the time of surgery for RRD (p<0.05) and achieved higher success rates after primary surgery and were less likely to require silicone oil as primary tamponade. Macular hole was more common in the ethnic minorities with similar closure rates. Surgery for complications of diabetic retinopathy was more common in Afro-Caribbeans and Asians compared to Caucasians (28.07%, 24.02%, and 9.40%, p<0.05).


This study presents a large population-based data analysis on ethnic variation in vitreoretinal disorders. This may assist in predicting the requirement of vitreoretinal service provision depending on local ethnic variation.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2017; 27(3): 367 - 371




Bhaskar Gupta, James E. Neffendorf, Roger Wong, David A.H. Laidlaw, Tom H. Williamson

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: Tom H. Williamson has a royalty agreement with AxSys Technologies, Glasgow, UK, for sales of the ophthalmology module of the Excellicare electronic patient records system. The other authors have no conflict of interest.

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  •  Royal Berkshire Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Reading - UK
  •  St. Thomas’ Hospital, London - UK

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