The study subjects were residents of Chikusei city, Japan, aged 40 years or older who attended annual health check-up programs and participated in the JPHC-NEXT Eye Study which performed non-mydriatic fundus photography of both eyes. The relationship of glaucomatous fundus changes such as optic disc cupping (cup to disc ratio ≥ 0.7) and retinal nerve fiber layer defect (NFLD) with the presence of epiretinal membrane (ERM) were examined cross-sectionally. A total of 1990 persons gave consent to participate in this study in 2013. The overall prevalence of ERM was 12.9%. Of these, 1755 had fundus photographs of sufficient quality and no history of intraocular surgery (mean age: 62.3 ± 10.0 years). After adjusting for age, sex and refractive error, NFLD was positively associated with the presence of ERM (odds ratio [OR]: 2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24, 4.96; P = 0.010), but optic disc cupping was not (OR: 1.33; CI: 0.71, 2.48; P = 0.37). The results did not necessarily suggest an association between glaucoma and ERM, but indicated an association between NFLD and ERM.
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