Background/aims: To investigate the risk of developing retinal vein occlusion (RVO) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: In this retrospective population-based cohort study, 6756 patients with SLE and 40 536 controls without SLE (1:6) were selected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database claims from 2001 to 2006. Results: The incidence of RVO was 3.46-times higher in the SLE group than in controls (5.61 vs 1.62 per 10 000 person-years) (adjusted HR=3.883, 95% CI 2.299 to 6.558) calculated using Cox proportional hazard regression. Age was an independent risk factor for RVO, with adjusted HRs of 4.842 for individuals aged ≥50 years compared with those 0-49 years. For each age subgroup, the risk of RVO was significantly higher only in the 0-49-year-old SLE group than in controls. In the 0-49-year-old SLE group the incidence of developing RVO was 7.92 times higher (95% CI 3.60 to 17.45) in the SLE group than in the 0-49-year-old controls. In women with SLE, the incidence of developing RVO was 3.33-times higher (95% CI 1.88 to 5.90) than in female controls. Conclusions: SLE was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing RVO.
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