Fibrinogen, cholesterol and smoking as risk factors for non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy


Non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (AION) is thought to be due to occlusion of the posterior ciliary circulation. Raised lipid and fibrino-gen concentrations are recognised risk factors for vessel occlusion in cardiovascular disease and stroke but, although suspected as risk factors in non-arteritic AION, they have not been studied in this condition. We therefore performed a case-control study on 41 patients with non-arteritic AION, looking at these and other atherosclerotic risk factors. The odds ratio of cholesterol being >6.5 mmol/l in non-arteritic AION was 2.7 (95% confidence interval 1.09 to 6.65; p<0.05) and of fibrinogen being >3.6 g/l was 5 (2.66 to 9.39; p<0.05). Smoking was also found to be significantly associated with non-arteritic AION, the odds ratio being 16 (3.23 to 79.23; p<0.001). These were the only risk factors found to be significantly associated with non-arteritic AION. This raises the possibility that appropriate medical management of these factors could be given to prevent recurrence in the fellow eye.


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Talks, S., Chong, N., Gibson, J. et al. Fibrinogen, cholesterol and smoking as risk factors for non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy. Eye 9, 85–88 (1995).

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  • Anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy
  • Cholesterol
  • Fibrinogen
  • Smoking

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