APR 15, 2011
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
Two recent studies found no increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). However, both of these studies focused on Asian populations. To see if the same held true in a U.S. cohort, investigators used a U.S. population-based health care claims database to compared the incidence of heart attack and stroke among 4,500 hospitalized patients with branch or central retinal vein occlusion (RVO) with that of matched controls.
While heart attack rates were similar between the groups, patients with RVO had an almost two-fold higher incidence of stroke than controls, even after adjusting for cardiovascular comorbidities.
To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to report an increased incidence of CVA in patients with RVO in a US population. They conclude that, although additional studies of large diverse populations are necessary to confirm these findings, physicians and patients should be aware of the possible increased risk of CVA in patients with RVO.