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.
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.
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.
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.