We compared the prevalence of atrophic-appearing macular lesions between black and white patients with isolated or various genetic types of retinitis pigmentosa to determine if an appreciable difference existed between these two groups. The study included 720 patients of whom 138 (19.2%) were black patients from 115 families and 582 (80.8%) were white patients from 478 families. A logistic regression analysis combining isolated and all genetic types but randomly selecting one patient per family showed a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of atrophic-appearing macular lesions between black and white patients for the right eye (P = .0012) and left eye (P = .002). When considering either all patients or one patient per family, the estimated odds ratios were approximately 2.0 for blacks relative to whites. Our findings indicate that black patients with retinitis pigmentosa are approximately twice as likely as white patients to develop an atrophic-appearing macular lesion. This observation has implications for the prognosis of central visual function in such patients.
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