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Bae, Jeong Hun, MD, PhD*; Song, Su Jeong, MD, PhD*; Lee, Mi Yeon, MS

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002024
Original Study: PDF Only

Purpose: The aim of this was to determine the 5-year incidence of idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM) and its risk factors in Korean adults.

Methods: A total of 2,152 participants aged 50 years or older enrolled in a health screening program. All participants underwent baseline ophthalmic and systemic examinations in 2006, and were reexamined after 5 years. Epiretinal membranes were diagnosed using fundus photographs taken at baseline and at the 5-year follow-up. The incidence of idiopathic ERM was calculated in this study cohort, and then age-standardized to the 2010 Korean Census. Epiretinal membranes were classified as preretinal macular fibrosis with prominent retinal folds or cellophane macular reflex without retinal folds. Associated risk factors for idiopathic ERM were also analyzed.

Results: Idiopathic ERM developed in 82 of 2,152 participants who had no previous ERM in either eye at baseline. The overall age-standardized incidence was 3.8% (95% confidence interval, 2.8–4.8), including 2.3% with cellophane macular reflex and 1.5% with preretinal macular fibrosis. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that the factors related to the development of idiopathic ERM were age (adjusted odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–1.08) and hypertriglyceridemia (250 mg/dL or more; adjusted odds ratio, 3.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.54–6.49) after adjusting for confounding factors.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the 5-year incidence of idiopathic ERM in Korean adults is relatively similar to that in similar-aged white persons. Age and hypertriglyceridemia may increase the risk of developing idiopathic ERM.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; and

Division of Biostatistics, Department of Medical Information, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Reprint requests: Su Jeong Song, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 29 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03181, Republic of Korea; e-mail:

Supported by a Samsung Biomedical Research Institute grant.

None of the authors has any conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2019 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.