Vigorous Physical Activity as a Risk Factor for Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Am J Ophthalmol. 2022 Dec;244:30-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.08.002. Epub 2022 Aug 7.


Purpose: To evaluate whether frequent vigorous physical activity (PA) is significantly associated with active central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) and may represent a risk factor for CSCR.

Design: Case-control study.

Methods: This was a multicenter study. The patient population comprised consecutive patients with active CSCR and a comparable control group of healthy participants. Both groups were interrogated about their PA using a shortened version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The Ainsworth Compendium of Physical Activities was taken as a reference for the activities requiring vigorous effort and to quantify the energy expended, expressed in metabolic equivalent of task (MET). As a main outcome measure, a moderate/high practice of vigorous PA was opposed to an absent/low practice of vigorous PA in the 2 groups.

Results: A total of 105 patients with CSCR and 105 healthy controls were included in the study. Moderate/high vigorous PA was observed in 63.5% of the patients with CSCR and in 26% of the controls (P = .0001). The MET values of vigorous PA were 2173.2 ± 2081.5 in the CSCR group and 1216.3 ± 524 in the control group (P = .029). The potential risk of disease associated with moderate/high vigorous PA was 5.58 (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval 3.01-10.69, P = .0001).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates a significant association of vigorous PA with CSCR, indicating an increased probability of disease by 5.58 times. Frequent and intense PA, with the hypertensive episodes that it entails, can break the precarious hemodynamic balance in the choroid of individuals predisposed to CSCR, thereby favoring choroidal vascular decompensation and active disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy* / diagnosis
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy* / epidemiology
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy* / etiology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence