One commonality in all open globe injuries is that they often require urgent diagnosis and treatment. New research also suggests they are likely based on race, gender and age.

Although the majority of cases were seen in Caucasians and young men between the ages of 21 and 40, the research team found that the incidence of open globe injuries was highest in Blacks and Hispanics, elderly patients over the age of 80 and men.

The retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study included patients with a primary admitting diagnosis of open globe injury. The investigators considered age, gender, race, type of open globe injury, death rate and length and cost of stay. Over the 12-year study period, 27,467 adults over the age of 20 with acute open globe injuries were admitted to US hospitals.

The condition affected about 11 per one million people. Patients with open globe injuries were approximately 50 years old, and men accounted for 71% of all cases, with 84% under the age of 60.

Another key finding: cases decreased with older age in men; however, the opposite was true for women. Still, men, along with elderly individuals over 80 and Black patients, were at the highest risk of sustaining an open globe injury.

Penetrating injuries were the most common cause at 73%, while intraocular foreign bodies, representing just 11% of all cases, were the least likely cause.

Considering coverage, over half of young adults in the 21 to 40 age range and 43% of men were uninsured. One-third of the total cases were uninsured.

The average length of a hospital stay increased with age and was much higher in women than men (3.4 vs. 2.5 days, respectively).

These disparities should be the basis of future public health safety measures, the study authors concluded in their paper.

Ojuok E, Uppuluri A, Langer PD, et al. Demographic trends of open globe injuries in a large inpatient sample. Eye. November 1, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].