IMPORTANCE Retinal vascular occlusion is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in the general population. However, the long-term outcomes of patients who undergo incident hemodialysis and subsequently develop retinal vascular occlusion have not been examined. OBJECTIVE To determine the mortality rate and subsequent prevalence of systemic vascular diseases associated with retinal vascular occlusion among patients undergoing hemodialysis in Taiwan. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Data from the Taiwan National Health Institutes research database were used, and we identified 105 956 patients undergoing hemodialysis during the period from January 1997 to December 2008. In total, 113 patients with retinal artery occlusion and 463 patients with retinal vein occlusion were enrolled and matched for age, sex, and the duration of hemodialysis (at a 1:5 ratio) with patients without ocular disorders. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Mortality and atherosclerotic events. A multivariate Cox regression model for mortality and a competing risk regression model for atherosclerotic events were used for this population-based retrospective cohort study. RESULTS Of 113 patients with retinal artery occlusion and 463 patients with retinal vein occlusion, 66 (58.4%) and 245 (52.9%) were females, respectively (ranging in age from40 to 80 years). Our study showed there was a significant risk of mortality among patients undergoing hemodialysis who subsequently developed retinal artery occlusion or retinal vein occlusion compared with patients undergoing hemodialysis without ocular disorders. Patients with retinal artery occlusion had higher risks of ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 3.35 [95%CI, 2.00-5.59]; P >.001), coronary artery disease (adjusted HR, 1.70 [95%CI, 1.23-2.36]; P = .001), acute coronary syndrome (adjusted HR, 2.03 [95%CI, 1.24-3.33]; P = .002), and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (adjusted HR, 2.15 [95%CI, 1.26-3.66]; P = .002) than did patients without ocular disorders. Patients with retinal vein occlusion had higher risks of hemorrhagic stroke (adjusted HR, 2.54 [95%CI, 1.50-4.30]; P = .001), coronary artery disease (adjusted HR, 1.55 [95%CI, 1.31-1.83]; P >.001), and acute coronary syndrome (adjusted HR, 1.53 [95%CI, 1.14-2.06]; P = .002) than did patients without ocular disorders. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Our data demonstrate that the risks of mortality and atherosclerotic events were increased among patients undergoing incident hemodialysis who subsequently developed retinal vascular occlusion.
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