Background/aims: To describe the prevalence and risk factors of epiretinal membranes (ERM) in Asian Malays and to compare this with a white population.
Methods: The Singapore Malay Eye Study examined 3,280 persons (78.7% response rate) aged 40-80 years in Singapore during 2004-6. ERM were graded from retinal photographs using standardized procedures at the University of Sydney, and rates were compared to those from the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES).
Results: Of the 3,280 participants, 3,265 had sufficient quality photographs for grading. The age-standardized prevalence of ERM was 7.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.1-8.7%) in the Singapore Census population. The prevalence of ERM was higher in Malays than in whites from the BMES (age-standardized prevalence: 15.8% [CI 14.2-17.2%] in Malays vs. 6.8% [CI 5.9-7.6%] in whites). Of the 384 persons with ERM, 124 (32.3%) had secondary ERM. Age, female gender, hyperopia and narrower retinal arteriolar diameter were associated with higher prevalence of ERM, after adjusting for age and/or gender.
Conclusions: The prevalence of ERM in Asian Malays was higher than that in the white persons. Risk factors for ERM were older age, female gender, hyperopic refraction and narrower retinal arteriolar diameter.