Intense physical activity was reported by 63.5% of CSCR patients in this study vs. only 26% of controls.

Intense physical activity was reported by 63.5% of CSCR patients in this study vs. only 26% of controls. Photo: Mohammad Rafieetary, OD. Click image to enlarge.

A recent study that sought to better understand the connection between frequent physical activity and active central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) uncovered a significant association between the two. The findings indicated that the probability for disease development was increased by 5.58 times in such patients.

This case control, multicenter study included 105 patients with active CSCR and a control group of 105 healthy participants. The researchers asked both groups about their physical activity via a shortened version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The Ainsworth Compendium of Physical Activities was used as a reference for the activities requiring vigorous effort as well as to quantify the energy expended expressed in a metric called the metabolic equivalent of task (MET), according to the study authors.

Moderate/high vigorous physical activity was reported in 63.5% of patients with CSCR and in 26% of the control group. The data showed that the MET value of vigorous physical activity was 2173.2±2081.5 among patients in the CSCR group vs. 1216.3±524 in healthy controls. The researchers observed that the potential risk of disease linked with moderate/high vigorous physical activity was 5.58.

“This study provides evidence for a significant association between vigorous physical activity and CSCR, showing that vigorous physical activity may be a relevant risk factor for the disease,” the study authors concluded in their American Journal of Ophthalmology paper. “Our observations run counter to the generally accepted notion that physical activity has health benefits and is important in chronic disease prevention.”

Given the frequency of physical activity among young adults, the researchers recommend further study to define the impact on the occurrence of CSCR. Additional clarification, they noted, is also needed to determine if physical activity can influence phenotypes and disease duration.

Piccolino FC, Fruttini D, Eandi C, et al. Vigorous physical activity as a risk factor for central serous chorioretinopathy. Am J Ophthalmol. August 7, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].