Socio-demographic factors, such as being older, male and non-Caucasian, may impact the presentation and outcomes of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD), a study in Ophthalmology suggests.

Researchers from Wills Eye Hospital analyzed the impact of these factors on the presenting RRD fovea-on or -off status, single operation repair success and postoperative visual acuity (VA).

“Our study found that socio-demographic factors such as older age, male gender, non-Caucasian race and lower mean household income were associated with macula-off presentation of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments,” said researcher David Xu, MD. “Practitioners can view retinal detachments not only in terms of the anatomic or pathophysiologic presentation but also the socioeconomic background of the patient.”

The study enrolled 4,061 patients, and the researchers considered several socio-demographic factors including age, gender, race and regional mean household income as determined by zip code. Additionally, the investigators noted VA at baseline and 12 months post-RRD repair.

The researchers found older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.34 per decade), male gender (OR = 1.27), non-Caucasian race (OR = 2.41) and lower household income (OR = 0.94 per $10,000) were independent risk factors for the fovea-off presentation of retinal detachment. Additionally, the need for re-operation to repair RD within 90 days was independently associated with fovea-off presentation (OR = 1.47) and non-Caucasian race (OR = 1.72). Also of note: the 12 month postoperative VA was worse in patients who were fovea-off, older, male and non-Caucasian, but this finding was not associated with household income.

Physicians should be aware that socioeconomic disparities can negatively impact the prognosis of patients with RRD, and further study confirming these findings, as well as efforts to mitigate their effects, are warranted and will be of interest to the greater ophthalmology community, the researchers noted.

Xu D, Uhr J, Patel SN, et al. Sociodemographic factors influencing rhegmatogenous retinal detachment presentation and outcome. Ophthalmology. August 5, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].