Patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO) may be at increased risk of cancer, even when taking into account demographics and comorbidities, new research suggests.

A nationwide, population-based, retrospective study in Korea included 186,701 patients with incident RVO and no cancer diagnosis and a matched control group. The investigators assessed the association of RVO and cancer using three models: (1) RVO as a time-varying covariate, (2) model one plus demographic information, and (3) model two and comorbidities.

In model one, the researchers found RVO was associated wit 1.29 times the risk of subsequent cancer, which was consistent in models two and three. The incidence rate of overall cancer during the study period was 25.55 per 1,000 person-years in the RVO group and 18.62 per 1,000 person-years in the control group.

In the subgroup analysis, hematological malignancies showed the highest association with RVO (hazard ratio of 1.65).

Further study is warranted to explain these associations and to provide proper recommendations for RVO patients regarding cancer screening, the investigators noted.

Kim MS, Cho JH, Byun SJ, et al. Increased risk of cancer in patients with retinal vein occlusion: a 12-year nationwide cohort study. Br J Ophthalmol. September 26, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].