Global epidemiology of retinal vein occlusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence, incidence, and risk factors

J Glob Health. 2019 Jun;9(1):010427. doi: 10.7189/jogh.09.010427.


Background: Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the second most common retinal vascular disorder that affected 16.4 million people worldwide in 2008. The last decade has seen new epidemiological data on RVO, enabling us to provide a contemporary estimation of RVO epidemiology.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, GLOBAL HEALTH, World Health Organization Global Health Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure for studies that reported prevalence or incidence of RVO in the general population. The age- and sex-specific prevalence of RVO was estimated by a multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression, the incidence of RVO and potential risk factors for RVO were respectively pooled by a random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: The prevalence of any RVO, branch RVO (BRVO) and central RVO (CRVO) all increased with advanced age, but didn't differ significantly between sexes. In 2015, the global prevalence of any RVO, BRVO and CRVO in people aged 30-89 years was 0.77% (95% confidence interval CI = 0.55-1.08), 0.64% (95% CI = 0.47-0.87) and 0.13% (95% CI = 0.08-0.21), equivalent to an overall of 28.06 million, 23.38 million and 4.67 million affected people. For any RVO, the pooled five-year cumulative incidence was 0.86% (95% CI = 0.70-1.07) and the pooled ten-year cumulative incidence was 1.63% (95% CI = 1.38-1.92). Hypertension was the strongest risk factor for any RVO, with a meta- odds ratio (OR) of 2.82 (95% CI = 2.12-3.75).

Conclusions: This study provides an updated summary of RVO epidemiology in the general population. More epidemiological studies worldwide are still needed to better understand the global disease burden of RVO.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors