OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and its risk factors in people with posttraumatic vision loss (PTVL).
DESIGN: Cross-sectional, controlled study.
SETTING: The general community.
PARTICIPANTS: Study groups included 82 subjects with PTVL, 49 siblings, 58 blind subjects with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and the general population in Israel.
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sociodemographic and biomedical data collected by using a structured questionnaire and medical records.
RESULTS: The prevalence of CAD among subjects with PTVL (24%) was 2 to 3 times higher than the control groups ( P <.001). However, the prevalence of the CAD risk factors in these subjects was similar to or lower than those in the control groups. For example, significantly fewer subjects with PTVL were physically inactive (16%) than patients with RP (55%, P <.01). The only variable that was significantly associated with CAD prevalence was the cause of blindness-that is, trauma versus disease; the odds of having CAD after traumatic vision loss was 3.75 times higher than after RP.
CONCLUSIONS: People with PTVL exhibit elevated rates of risk for CAD similar to those of other groups with physical disability. The traumatic injury that caused vision loss might be an important factor underlying that risk.