Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Optic disc size in a population based study in northern China: the Beijing Eye Study


Aim: To determine the optic disc size in the adult Chinese population in an urban and a rural region of Beijing.

Methods: The population based, cross sectional cohort study included 4439 subjects out of 5324 subjects invited to participate (response rate 83.4%). It was divided into a rural part (1973 (44.4%) subjects) and an urban part (2466 (55.6%) subjects). Mean age was 56.2 (SD 10.6) years (range 40–101 years). Colour optic disc photographs were morphometrically examined. Main outcome measure was optic disc area.

Results: Optic disc photographs were available for 4027 (90.7%) subjects. Mean optic disc area measured 2.65 (0.57) mm2 (range 1.03 mm2–7.75 mm2). Optic disc area was significantly (p<0.001) correlated with myopic refractive error, with a steep decrease in optic disc area from high myopia to the mid-range of refractive error, a slightly horizontal course in the refractive error range between −8 dioptres and +4 dioptres, and a further decrease in optic disc area towards higher hyperopia. Optic disc area was not related to age (p = 0.14) or sex (p = 0.93) (optic disc area, males: 2.65 (0.56) mm2 versus females: 2.65 (0.57) mm2). “Microdiscs” may be defined as smaller than 1.51 mm2, and “macrodiscs” as larger than 3.79 mm2.

Conclusions: Compared with data of preceding studies, mean optic disc size is larger in Chinese people than in white people. In Chinese people highly hyperopic eyes have significantly smaller optic discs, and highly myopic eyes have significantly larger optic discs than emmetropic eyes.

  • optic disc
  • refractive error
  • neuroretinal rim
  • visual impairment
  • low vision
  • myopia
  • hyperopia
  • sex
  • China

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.