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Paul Greenberg, Allison Chen, Jiankang Liu, Wen-Chih Wu; Sudden Visual Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in African Americans: the Jackson Heart Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):649.
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The epidemiology of sudden visual loss (SVL) is not well described. This study examined the prevalence and cardiovascular correlates of self-reported SVL in the cohort of African Americans enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS).
The study population comprised the cohort of 5,301 patients enrolled from 2000-2004 in the JHS, a 12-year population-based observational study of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in African Americans. On the baseline exam (Visit 1), participants underwent clinical exams, provided blood samples and medical and health histories, which included a stroke symptoms form with a query on SVL, and completed psychosocial assessments. Visit 1 data was analyzed to obtain the estimated prevalence of SVL and its risk factors. Regression modeling was used to identify independent correlates of SVL.
There were 5262 participants included in the study; 63% (3334/5262) were female. The prevalence of SVL was 3.6% (193/5262) overall and 8.7% (84/965) in patients with DM. Significant correlates of SVL included coronary heart disease (OR, 1.69 [95%CI, 1.12-2.56]), cerebrovascular disease (OR, 2.81 [95%CI, 1.76-4.47]), DM (OR, 2.85 [95% CI, 2.05-3.94]), hypertension (OR, 1.64 [95%CI, 1.09-2.45]), female gender (OR, 1.82 [95%CI: 1.24-2.67]) and income less than $50,000 (OR, 2.05 [95%CI: 1.28-3.30].
Self-reported sudden visual loss was significantly associated with DM, CVD and socioeconomic status in this cohort of African Americans. Further study is needed to better define the causes of and visual impairment from SVL in this population.
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