Purpose: To estimate the long-term cumulative risk of retinal detachment (RD) after cataract extraction (CE). Design: Retrospective cohort study and nested case-control study. Participants: All residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota who had CE from 1980 through 2004 (10 256 CEs in 7137 residents) and were diagnosed subsequently with RD in the same period. Two controls chosen from the primary cataract surgery cohort were matched to each RD case by age, gender, and duration of follow-up. Methods: Cases were identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project databases. Records were reviewed to confirm case status and ascertain risk factor information. The observed probability of RD after CE was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. A cumulative probability ratio of RD after CE was determined by comparing the observed probability of RD and the expected probability of RD in residents without CE. Logistic regression models assessed differences between cases and controls. Main Outcome Measures: Probability of and risk factors associated with RD after CE. Results: Eighty-two cases of RD were identified. The cumulative probability of RD increased in a nearly linear manner over the 25-year study period. At 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years after extracapsular CE (ECCE) and phacoemulsification, cumulative probabilities of RD were 0.27%, 0.71%, 1.23%, 1.58%, and 1.79%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the probability of RD after ECCE when compared with phacoemulsification (P = 0.13). The cumulative probability ratio of RD at 20 years after ECCE and phacoemulsification remained 4.0-fold (95% confidence interval, 2.6-5.4) higher than would be expected in a similar group of residents not undergoing CE (P<0.001). Male gender, younger age, myopia, increased axial length, and posterior capsular tear were associated significantly with RD (P<0.01). Conclusions: The cumulative risk of RD after ECCE and phacoemulsification is increased for up to 20 years after surgery.
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