Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients aged 30 to 39 and 50 to 59 are at higher risk of developing central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR), new research suggests. Findings show, however, that the severity of central serous is not made worse by OSA.

Using information from Taiwan’s national health insurance database from 1996 to 2013, a retrospective longitudinal study assessed 13,084 OSA patients and the same number of matched controls. A team assessed CSCR development and, within this cohort, disease severity.

Of the total participants, 50 (0.4%) in the OSA group and 25 (0.2%) in the control group developed CSCR. Moreover, the OSA group had an increased adjusted hazard ratio of 1.9 for CSCR development.

In the subgroup analysis, sleep apnea patients in the 30-39 and 50-59 age ranges were more likely to develop central serous compared with controls. The presence of OSA was associated with a higher incidence of mild CSCR.

“Because the incidence of CSCR was lower than 1% in both the OSA and non-OSA populations, such a relationship cannot be definitely established,” the study authors concluded in their paper. “Further large-scale studies to evaluate the effect of OSA on the development of acute and chronic CSCR and whether treating OSA decreases the risk of CSCR are warranted.”

Lee CY, Yeung L, Jen CK, et al. Relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and central serous chorioretinopathy: a health insurance database study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. May 20, 2021. [Epub ahead of print.]