Seasonal variations in the occurrence of retinal vein occlusion: a five-year nationwide population-based study from Taiwan

Jau-Der Ho, Ching-Yao Tsai, Shiow-Wen Liou, Ray Jui-Fang Tsai, Herng-Ching Lin
American Journal of Ophthalmology 2008, 145 (4): 722-728

PURPOSE: To determine whether seasonal variation exists in the incidence of retinal vein occlusion.

DESIGN: Retrospective, nationwide population-based administrative database study.

METHODS: We collected data on outpatient and emergency visits for the period from January 1999 through December 2003 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, a source that covers more than 96% of Taiwan's 23 million citizens. In total, 20,792 patients with a first-time diagnosis of either central retinal vein occlusion or branch retinal vein occlusion (The International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code 362.35 or 362.36, respectively) were identified. Monthly incidence of retinal vein occlusion was obtained for each age group, each gender group, and for the entire sample. The autoregressive integrated moving average method of analysis was adopted to examine seasonality in the monthly incidence of retinal vein occlusion.

RESULTS: The monthly incidence rates of retinal vein occlusion revealed significant seasonality, with a clear peak in January for each age group and each gender group, as well as for the total sample.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates significant seasonal variations in the retinal vein occlusion incidence, with the peak occurrence in the winter month of January.

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