A recent study from Stanford University has found that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases the risk of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC)—and the researchers believe patients who presents with new-onset CSC may have undiagnosed OSA. The team culled through a database of 59 million patients to identify those with an initial diagnosis of CSC and then any subsequent diagnosis of OSA based on a sleep study.

The analysis revealed that CSC risk increased with both age and OSA diagnosis. CSC risk was lower in females, with an annual incidence of 9.6 per 100,000, compared with 23.4 per 100,000 in males; still, both incidences were higher than previous reports. The incidence of CSC was higher in females and males with OSA (17.2 per 100,000 and 40.8 per 100,000, respectively).

The researchers noted that the risk of CSC was slightly higher with an OSA diagnosis, with a hazard ratio of 1.081. They also admit this may be an underestimate of the real-world utility of CSC in screening for OSA, as their models do not account for BMI and other OSA risk factors. Nevertheless, they still suggest that some patients, particularly older males, are good candidates for OSA evaluation following a CSC diagnosis.

Pan CK, Vail D, Bhattacharya J, et al. The effect of obstructive sleep apnea on absolute risk of central serous chorioretinopathy. Am J Ophthalmol. June 20, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].