Retinal Vein Occlusion Affected By Blood Pressure Level, Age

Retinal vein occlusion is most likely in older patients with elevated diastolic blood pressure.

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is rare in the United States, but patients who do develop it are in older age groups and have elevated diastolic blood pressure (DBP), according to findings presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting, held in Chicago from September 30 to October 3.

Researchers conducted a study to determine the prevalence and risk factors of RVO, which includes central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), in the United States. The study utilized data from the Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2005 and 2008. The study’s participants included 5559 adults aged 40 years or older who had undergone retinal imaging.

Ophthalmologists graded 45-degree nonmydriatic retinal photographs for the presence of RVO, and the researchers subsequently performed weighted analysis to estimate its prevalence. 

A multivariate logistic regression model was created to analyze risk factors. The study authors found that the estimated prevalence of BRVO, CRVO, and RVO is 0.42% (95% CL, 0.23-0.6), 0.08% (95% CL, 0-0.18), and 0.5% (95% CL, 0.3-0.71), respectively. 

Significant risk factors included age, per 10-year increase (OR, 1.93, 95% CL, 1.31-2.92) and elevated DBP, per 10 mm Hg increase (OR, 1.47, 95% CL, 1.10-2.92), and factors found not to be significant included race, sex, glaucoma, elevated cholesterol and self-reported history of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. 


Kalva P, Akram M, Zuberi H, Kooner K. The prevalence of and risk factors for RVO in the U.S. from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Poster presented at: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting; September 30-October 3; Chicago. Abstract PO426.