Retinal vein occlusion risk may be increased by high blood pressure and cholesterol, say researchers

May 14, 2008

High blood pressure and high cholesterol may be connected to an increased risk of retinal vein occlusion, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Dublin-High blood pressure and high cholesterol may be connected to an increased risk of retinal vein occlusion, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Pooling data from 21 previously published studies involving 2,916 individuals with retinal vein occlusion and 28,646 participants without the condition, 63.6 % had hypertension compared with 36.2% of the controls.

High cholesterol levels were more than twice as common among patients with retinal vein occlusion as those without, and those with high cholesterol had an approximately 2.5-fold higher risk of retinal vein occlusion. Diabetes was slightly more prevalent among those with retinal vein occlusion than among those with out.

"Accordingly, we recommend that an assessment of blood pressure and both fasting lipid and glucose levels be routinely performed in adults with any form of retinal vein occlusion," wrote the authors. "Those who treat patients with systemic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia should consider that each poses a risk not only to cardiovascular health but also to ocular health."