Rate of retinal vein occlusions up after COVID-19 infection
The risk for
retinal vein occlusion (RVO) may be increased in the six months following
COVID-19 infection, according to a study published online April 14 in JAMA
Bobeck S. Modjtahedi, M.D., from Pasadena,USA, and colleagues conducted a cohort study involving 432,515 patients without a history of retinal vascular occlusion who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between Jan. 20, 2020, and May 31, 2021. The change in average biweekly incidence of new retinal artery occlusions (RAOs) and RVOs after COVID-19 was examined.
The researchers found that 16 patients had an RAO and 65 had an RVO. After adjustment for age; sex; self-reported race and ethnicity; body mass index; history of diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia; and hospitalization, there was a higher incidence of new RVOs in the six months after COVID-19 infection compared with the six months before infection. A smaller, nonsignificant, increase in the incidence of RAOs was seen after COVID-19 diagnosis. At 10 to 12 weeks and six to eight weeks after COVID-19 diagnosis, the peak incidence of RAOs and RVOs occurred.
The findings indicate that the postinfection impacts may last several weeks.
Epidemiologic studies are warranted to better define the association between retinal thromboembolic events and COVID-19 infection.
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