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Clinical risk factors for retinal artery occlusions: a nationwide case–control study

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Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine potential risk factors for the development of retinal artery occlusions (RAO).

Methods

We used data obtained from Danish nationwide registries to evaluate potential risk factors for RAO present up to 5 years prior to the RAO diagnosis. The study included 5312 patients diagnosed with RAO registered in the Danish National Patient Register and 26,560 controls assessed from the general population matched on sex and age at index date. Adjusted conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio of included risk factors for RAO diagnosis. We conducted supplementary analyses stratified on sex and age, and on RAO subtype. In addition, interaction analyses were performed between strata in the stratified analyses.

Results

Risk factors associated with the development of RAO included diabetes, arterial hypertension, ischemic heart disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, renal disease, cataract, and glaucoma, with ORs ranging from 1.33 to 4.94. Atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea yielded effect measures close to equivalence. The presence of a risk factor was generally associated with higher odds of RAO among the population ≤ 55 of age. Arterial hypertension was stronger associated with RAO in male patients than in female patients. The association with arterial hypertension was stronger for CRAO than for BRAO subtype.

Conclusion

The investigated risk factors suggest that atherosclerosis and conditions changing the intraocular pressure are involved in the pathophysiology of RAO.

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Funding

This study was partly funded by an unrestricted grant from The Obel Family Foundation. The sponsor did not influence the design or execution of the study.

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Correspondence to Marie Ørskov.

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Conflict of interest

HV has served as an advisory board member for Bayer and Novartis. TBL has been an investigator for Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Bayer AG, and Boehringer Ingelheim; and has received speaker honorarium from Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and Merck Sharp & Dome. GYHL has been consultant and speaker for BMS/Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Daiichi-Sankyo. No fees are received personally. FLS has received consultancy fees from Bayer.

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Ørskov, M., Vorum, H., Larsen, T.B. et al. Clinical risk factors for retinal artery occlusions: a nationwide case–control study. Int Ophthalmol 42, 2483–2491 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10792-022-02247-z

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