The prevalence, incidence, and risk factors associated with proliferative sickle retinopathy (PSR) were investigated in 786 patients with homozygous sickle cell (SS) disease and 533 patients with sickle cell haemoglobin C (SC) disease. PSR was more common in SC disease, in which there was a significant predominance of males, and it increased with age in both genotypes. In SC disease the risk of developing PSR was highest between 15 and 24 years in males, between 20 and 39 years in females, and in SS disease between 25 and 39 years in both sexes. PSR tended to be bilateral, especially in SC disease. There was no evidence of familial clustering of PSR in SC siblings, and insufficient numbers of SS siblings were available to test for clustering. Haematological risk factors associated with PSR in SS disease were a high haemoglobin in males and a low fetal haemoglobin in both sexes and in SC disease, a high mean cell volume, and a low fetal haemoglobin in females.