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J Ophthalmol. 2014;2014:724780. doi: 10.1155/2014/724780. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

Risk factors for central and branch retinal vein occlusion: a meta-analysis of published clinical data.

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  • 1University Eye Clinic, Masaryk University Brno and University Hospital Brno, Jihlavska 20, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.


Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a major cause of vision loss. Of the two main types of RVO, branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) is 4 to 6 times more prevalent than central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). A basic risk factor for RVO is advancing age. Further risk factors include systemic conditions like hypertension, arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, vascular cerebral stroke, blood hyperviscosity, and thrombophilia. A strong risk factor for RVO is the metabolic syndrome (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia). Individuals with end-organ damage caused by diabetes mellitus and hypertension have greatly increased risk for RVO. Socioeconomic status seems to be a risk factor too. American blacks are more often diagnosed with RVO than non-Hispanic whites. Females are, according to some studies, at lower risk than men. The role of thrombophilic risk factors in RVO is still controversial. Congenital thrombophilic diseases like factor V Leiden mutation, hyperhomocysteinemia and anticardiolipin antibodies increase the risk of RVO. Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of RVO as do systemic inflammatory conditions like vasculitis and Behcet disease. Ophthalmic risk factors for RVO are ocular hypertension and glaucoma, higher ocular perfusion pressure, and changes in the retinal arteries.

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