Purpose: The purpose is to assess the effect of ethnicity on surgical macular hole closure. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was undertaken in five UK National Health Service Hospitals. We included all patients with known ethnicity undergoing vitrectomy, internal limiting membrane peel, and gas/oil tamponade for all stages of primary full-thickness macular hole (FTMH). The primary outcome was anatomic success, defined as FTMH closure with one operation. The secondary outcome was mean change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) comparing baseline with final review. Results: Of 334 operations, the ethnicity profile comprised 78.7% White patients, 11.7% Black patients, 8.1% Asian patients, and 1.5% in mixed/other ethnicities. Mean age was 69.7 years with 68.5% females. Overall, 280 (83.8%) had anatomic success. Anatomic failure occurred in 38.5% of Black patients versus 12.6% of White patients (relative risk: 1.788; 95% CI: 1.012 to 3.159; P = 0.045). Overall, baseline logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution BCVA improved by 0.34, from 0.95 (95% CI: 0.894 to 1.008) to 0.62 (95% CI: 0.556 to 0.676). Mean BCVA improved by 0.35 in White patients, 0.37 in Black patients, 0.23 in Asian patients, and 0.38 in mixed/other ethnicity (P = 0.689). Greater FTMH minimum linear diameter was associated with an increased risk of anatomic failure (relative risk: 1.004; 95% CI: 1.002 to 1.005; P < 0.0001), whereas better pre-operative BCVA (F [1,19] = 162.90; P < 0.0001) and anatomic success (F [1,19] = 97.69; P < 0.0001) were associated with greater BCVA improvement. Socio-economic status did not significantly influence anatomic success or BCVA change. Conclusions: Black ethnicity is associated with an approximately twofold greater risk of failed FTMH surgery. The reasons for this difference warrant further study. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1543
Number of pages9
JournalGraefes Archive For Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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