Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Retinal artery occlusion and the 3-year risk of stroke in Taiwan: a nationwide population-based study.

PURPOSE: To verify the association between retinal artery occlusion (RAO) and stroke with a large-scale nationwide study.

DESIGN: Retrospective nationwide population-based administrative database study.

METHODS: Data were collected from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 (LHID2000), which contains claim data from 1 million randomly selected beneficiaries among Taiwan's 23 million residents. The study cohort consisted of all patients with a diagnosis of RAO from January 1999 through December 2006 (n = 464). The control group consisted of randomly selected patients (n = 2748) matched with the study group by age, sex, date of index medical care, and comorbid hypertension. Patients were tracked from their index date for 3 years. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to compute the stroke-free survival rate. Cox proportional hazard regressions were used to compute the adjusted stroke-free survival rate after adjusting for possible confounding factors.

RESULTS: Ninety-one RAO patients (19.61%) and 280 controls (10.05%) had a stroke (P < .0001) during the 3-year follow-up period. Compared with the controls, the incidence rate ratios of stroke in RAO patients were 9.46 at 0-1 month, 5.57 at 1-6 months, and 2.16 at 0-3 years after RAO (P < .0001). After adjusting for age, sex, and selected comorbid disorders, the hazard ratio of having a stroke for RAO patients was still 2.07 times higher than that of controls and 3.34 times higher in the ≤60-year-old subgroup.

CONCLUSIONS: RAO increases the risk for subsequent stroke. Early neurologic evaluation and secondary prevention for stroke are recommended for RAO patients.

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