To determine the cumulative five-year incidence and progression of myopic maculopathy in a rural Chinese adult population.
The Handan Eye Study was a population-based longitudinal study. In 2006, 6830 subjects aged 30+ years participated in this study (baseline). Five years later, 5394 subjects (follow-up rate: 85.3%) took part in the follow-up study. Participants had a detailed eye examination, including visual acuity, standardized refraction and fundus photography according to a similar protocol at both baseline and follow-up. Myopic maculopathy was defined as any of the following signs: diffuse chorioretinal atrophy, patchy chorioretinal atrophy, macular atrophy, lacquer cracks and myopic choroidal neovascularization at the posterior pole. Parapapillary atrophy was assessed separately.
Of 5394 participants, 5078 (10 021 eyes) had gradable fundus photographs. Over the five years, four participants (five eyes) developed new myopic maculopathy, with an eye-specific incidence of 0.05% (95% CI, 0.02-0.10%). Among the 51 eyes with myopic maculopathy at baseline, the progression occurred in 18 eyes (35.3%), with new signs of patchy chorioretinal atrophy in 11 eyes (21.6%), diffuse chorioretinal atrophy in seven eyes (13.7%), lacquer cracks in three eyes (6.9%), macular atrophy in three eyes (6.9%) and myopic choroidal neovascularization in two eyes (3.9%). By multivariable analysis, female gender (OR, 9.14; p = 0.004) and higher educational level (OR, 8.24; p = 0.004) were associated with a higher risk of progression of myopic maculopathy, whereas lower myopia at baseline (OR, 0.79; p < 0.0001) and hypertension (OR, 0.21; p = 0.017) were associated with a reduced risk.
The five-year incidence of myopic maculopathy was 0.05% in rural Chinese adults aged 30+ years. The progression rate in participants with myopic maculopathy was 35.3%, indicating the importance of regular follow-up for these patients.