PURPOSE: To define the epidemiology of severe ocular trauma in Singapore. METHODS: A population-based incidence study involving all Singapore citizens and residents. Two government-administered databases were used to capture information on severe ocular trauma in Singapore. The national hospital discharge database provided information on incident episodes of hospitalized ocular injury, defined as any ocular injury requiring hospitalization. The national medical savings database provided information on incident episodes of open globe injury, defined as any open globe injury requiring acute ophthalmic surgery. The 1990 Singapore Census was used as denominator data. RESULTS: From 1991 to 1996, the overall annual incidence rate of hospitalized ocular injury was 12.6 per 100,000, and the annual incidence rate of open globe injury was 3.7 per 100,000. Nearly 15% of open globe injury was associated with an intraocular foreign body. Although a 20% decline in the rate of hospitalization over this 6-year period was observed, no distinct time trend in the rate of open globe injury was seen. Men had fourfold higher rates of injury than women. A bimodal age pattern of ocular injury was observed, with a peak in injury rates in young adults and another in people over 70 years. Racial variation in rates of injury was seen in men but not in women (with Indian men having twice the risks than either Chinese or Malay men). CONCLUSIONS: Severe ocular trauma in Singapore varied with age (highest in young adults and elderly), gender, and race (highest in Indian men), suggesting demographic-specific differences in exposure to high-risk injury settings. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
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