• Incidence of CRAO in Korea

    By Jean Shaw
    Selected and Reviewed By: Neil M. Bressler, MD, and Deputy Editors

    Journal Highlights

    JAMA Ophthalmology, April 2021

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    Kim et al. assessed recent trends in the incidence rates of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) in Korea. They found a decrease in the incidence of the condition, particularly among women, people younger than 65 years, and those born after 1930. This may reflect the development of a national health care system and the overall improve­ment in the management of chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular disease.

    For this study, the researchers used data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service from Jan. 1, 2002, to Dec. 31, 2015. Unadjusted CRAO inci­dence rates were calculated using the number of identified CRAO cases and the corresponding midyear population. Standardized incidence rates were calculated based on the 2015 census population, and weighted mean annual incidence rates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed.

    The researchers identified 9,892 individuals (out of a population of 50 million residents) who were diagnosed with CRAO during the study period. The mean age of those with CRAO was 62.4 years, and 5,884 (59.5%) were men. The researchers were not able to identify any patients with incident CRAO who also had giant cell arteritis, which may indicate that no patients had both conditions—or that diagnoses were either missed or miscoded.

    The mean standard incidence rates of CRAO, as expressed in cases per 100,000 person-years, were 2.0 cases among the entire population (95% CI, 1.97-2.04 cases), 2.43 cases for men (95% CI, 2.37-2.49 cases), and 1.61 cases for women (95% CI, 1.57-1.66 cases). The highest incidence rate was observed among those between 80 and 84 years of age—in this age group, the overall rate was 9.84 cases (95% confi­dence interval [CI], 9.10-10.60 cases), with an incidence rate of 13.74 cases for men (95% CI, 12.16-15.32 cases) and 8.04 cases for women (95% CI, 7.21-8.86 cases).

    During the study period, the inci­dence rate decreased (annual percent­age change [APC], –3.46%), and this trend was more evident among women (APC, –4.56%) than in men (APC, –2.90%). In addition, the decrease was greater in those younger than 65 years (APC, –6.80%) than in those older than age 65 (APC, –0.57%). Among those born after 1930, the researchers observed a decrease in the CRAO inci­dence rate over time in every age group. The same decreasing trend did not occur among those born before 1930.

    The original article can be found here.