Epidemiologic Pattern and Injury Mechanism of Intimate Partner Violence-Related Ocular Trauma in the US

JAMA Ophthalmol. 2023 May 1;141(5):431-439. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.0578.


Importance: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important cause of death and disability worldwide. The literature estimates that 45% of IPV injuries involve the eyes. Many medical fields have increased IPV-related research; however, ophthalmology IPV research remains rare.

Objective: To evaluate the epidemiologic pattern and injury mechanism of IPV related to ocular trauma.

Design, setting, and participants: This study was a retrospective cross-sectional analysis with deidentified data using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB), which is a data set collected by the American College of Surgeons. The NTDB is the largest US hospitalized trauma case database with submissions from more than 900 US facilities. Included in this analysis were the IPV-related ocular injuries of patients hospitalized between 2017 and 2019. Study data were analyzed from April 20 to October 15, 2022.

Exposures: IPV-related ocular injuries.

Main outcomes and measures: Ocular injuries and adult IPV trauma survivors were identified with the ICD-10-CM codes. The following demographic data were collected: sex, age, race and ethnicity, health insurance plan, substance misuse screening results, trauma level of hospital, the emergency department disposition, the total Glasgow Coma Scale score, the abbreviated injury scale, and caregiver at discharge.

Results: A total of 2598 of the recorded ocular injuries were associated with IPV. Patients had a mean (SD) age of 45.2 (18.4) years, and 1618 were female (62.3%). Most patients in the population sample (1195 [46.0%]) were aged 18 to 39 years. The race and ethnicity distribution was as follows: 629 Black (24.2%), 296 Hispanic (11.4%), 1358 White (52.3%), 229 other (8.8%), and 86 missing (3.3%). Insurance statuses were Medicaid (847 [32.6%]), Medicare (524 [20.2%]), private insurance (524 [20.2%]), and self-pay (488 [18.8%]). Women had greater odds of testing positive during alcohol screening (odds ratio [OR], 1.42; 95% CI, 1.21-1.67; P < .001). Black patients were most likely to have Medicaid (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.35-1.99; P < .001), Hispanic patients were most likely to self-pay (OR, 1.96, 95% CI, 1.48-2.58; P < .001), and White patients were most likely to use Medicare (OR, 2.94, 95% CI, 2.33-3.73; P < .001).

Conclusions and relevance: Social determinants of health were identified as key risk factors for IPV-related ocular injuries. Study findings highlight identifiable risk factors associated with IPV and ocular trauma that can contribute to IPV awareness among ophthalmologists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Injuries* / diagnosis
  • Eye Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Eye Injuries* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence*
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Ophthalmology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology