Objective: Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is a devastating ocular condition causing permanent vision loss. Little is known about risk factors for developing this disease. We assessed demographic, systemic, and ocular factors associated with NAION.
Design: Retrospective longitudinal cohort study.
Participants: Beneficiaries between 40 and 75 years old without NAION at baseline enrolled in a large U.S. managed care network.
Methods: Enrollees were monitored continuously for ≥2 years between 2001 and 2014 to identify those newly diagnosed with NAION (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code 377.41). All persons were under ophthalmic surveillance and all cases had ≥1 confirmatory ICD-9-CM code for NAION during follow-up.
Main outcome measures: Multivariable Cox regression modeling was used to generate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to describe the statistical relationship between selected demographic characteristics, systemic and ocular conditions, and the hazard of developing NAION.
Results: Of 1 381 477 eligible enrollees, 977 (0.1%) developed NAION during a mean ± standard deviation (SD) follow-up of 7.8±3.1 years. The mean ± SD age for NAION cases at the index date was 64.0±9.2 years vs. 58.4±9.4 years for the remainder of the beneficiaries. After adjustment for confounding factors, each additional year older was associated with a 2% increased hazard of NAION (HR = 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01-1.03). Female subjects had a 36% decreased hazard of developing NAION (HR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.55-0.74) compared with male subjects. Compared with whites, Latinos had a 46% decreased hazard of developing NAION (HR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.36-0.82), whereas African ancestry was not significantly associated with NAION (HR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.72-1.15). Systemic diseases associated with NAION included hypertension (HR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.26-2.07) and hypercoagulable states (HR = 2.46; 95% CI: 1.51-4.00). Although diabetes mellitus (DM) was not significantly associated with NAION compared with those without DM (P = 0.45), patients with end-organ involvement from DM had a 27% increased hazard of NAION relative to those with uncomplicated DM (HR = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.01-1.59). Ocular diseases associated with NAION were age-related macular degeneration (HR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.08-1.54) and retinal vein occlusion (HR = 3.94; 95% CI: 3.11-4.99).
Conclusions: Our study identified several modifiable risk factors that may be associated with NAION. Should future studies confirm these findings, they may offer opportunities to prevent or treat this debilitating condition.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.