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May 1996

Risk Factors for Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md. A list of investigators in The Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group appears on page 548.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(5):545-554. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130537006

Objective:  To identify possible risk factors for central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO).

Design:  Between May 1,1986, and December 31,1990, 258 patients with CRVO and 1142 controls were identified at five clinical centers. Data were obtained through interviews, clinical examinations, and laboratory analyses of blood specimens.

Results:  An increased risk of CRVO was found in persons with systemic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and open-angle glaucoma. Risk of CRVO decreased with increasing levels of physical activity and increasing levels of alcohol consumption. In women, risk of occlusion decreased with use of postmenopausal estrogens and increased with higher erythrocyte sedimentation rates. Cardiovascular disease, electrocardiographic abnormalities, history of treatment of diabetes mellitus, higher blood glucose levels, lower albumin-globulin ratios, and higher α1-globulin levels were associated with increased risk only for ischemic CRVO. Systemic hypertension was associated with increased risk for ischemic and nonischemic CRVO, but odds ratios were greater for the ischemic type.

Conclusions:  Our results suggest a cardiovascular risk profile for persons with CRVO, in particular, patients with the ischemic type. The findings reinforce recommendations to diagnose and treat systemic hypertension, advise patients to increase physical exercise, and consider use of exogenous estrogens in postmenopausal women.