Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: Retinal detachment (RD) is one of the most common of ophthalmic emergencies in the UK. Our aim was to study trends over time and regional variation in rates of RD in England. METHODS: Hospital admission rates for RD were analysed using the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry, Hospital Episode Statistics and the Oxford record linkage study between 1968 and 2011. Record linkage was used, when possible, to distinguish between episodes of care and individual people. RESULTS: Person-based rates from the 1960s to mid-1990s (only available in the Oxford data) were broadly stable. From 1999, the annual person-based rate increased significantly, from 13.4 in 1999 (13.1 to 13.8) to 15.4 in 2011 (15.1 to 15.7). Most, if not all, of the increase was an increase in people with diabetes mellitus. RD rates, comparing local authority (LA) areas, ranged from 10.3 (9.0 to 11.6) to 22.4 per 100,000 (19.9 to 25.1) over the period 1999-2011. The rate of RD by LA showed almost no association with social deprivation (r(2)=0.01) or with the proportion of people in each LA who were Black (r=0.04), Asian (r =-0.03) or born outside the UK (r=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Admission rates seem to have increased in recent years. This increase is probably attributable to an increase in the prevalence of diabetes, and so an increase in RD associated with diabetes. Understanding trends over time, and geographical variation, in RD will help match capacity in retinal surgery with need for treatment of RD.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Ophthalmol

Publication Date





639 - 643


Epidemiology, Public health, Retina, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Child, Preschool, Data Collection, Databases, Factual, England, Female, Geography, Hospitalization, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Medical Record Linkage, Middle Aged, Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures, Prevalence, Retinal Detachment, Sex Distribution, State Medicine, Young Adult