The authors conducted a case-control study of risk factors for retinal vein occlusions using 87 patients with vein occlusions, chosen randomly from photographic files from their institution between 1985 and 1990, and a control group of 85 subjects 38 years of age (the youngest individual in the vein occlusion group) or older, who were randomly selected from the records of two general ophthalmologists in the authors' department. Certain risk factors for retinal vein occlusion were highly significant when subjects with retinal vein occlusion were compared with the control group. These risk factors included systemic hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 3.86; 95% confidence interval [Cl], 2.08 to 7.16), open-angle glaucoma (OR, 2.89; 95% Cl, 1.38 to 6.05), and male sex (OR, 2.61; 95% Cl, 1.43 to 4.79). Race, presence of diabetes mellitus, history of coronary artery disease or stroke, and family history of diabetes, glaucoma, coronary artery disease, or stroke were not significant risk factors in the population studied. Logistic analysis of the risk factors showed no interactions. Risk factors for branch retinal vein occlusion and central retinal vein occlusion were identical.