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Introduction and objective:
Retinal artery occlusion (RAO) is an ophthalmic and systemic emergency requiring urgent diagnosis and treatment. Data regarding mortality in this group, especially in the European population, are modest. The aim of this study is to assess all-cause mortality in post-RAO patients.

Material and methods:
This is a retrospective, single-centre study involving 198 patients following RAO diagnosed in 2004–2020. The control group included 198 patients after cataract surgery matched for gender and age, with the date of cataract surgery corresponding to the date of the RAO.

The average follow-up of the study population was 6.32±2.15 years. Post-RAO patients had significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality (Log-rank test p = 0.001), also when stratified for ages below 75 years (Log-rank test p = 0.016) and those aged 75 and over (Log-rank test p = 0.001). In the group of patients without cardiovascular events before RAO/cataract surgery, post-RAO patients were also at higher risk of all-cause mortality (Log-rank test p = 0.011), but when stratified according to age, those observations were borderline significant (Log-rank test p = 0.083 for a group of patients aged less than 75 years, and p = 0.051 for patients aged 75 and over). Cox analysis showed that in the group of post-RAO patients, the main risk factors for all-cause mortality were age (HR 1.07, 95%CI 1.04–1.1; p < 0.001), ischemic heart disease (HR 1.72; 95%CI 1.08–2.72; p = 0.022), and permanent atrial fibrillation (HR 2.18, 95%CI 1.08–4.38; p = 0.029).

Regardless of age and previous cardiovascular events, post-RAO patients are at a higher risk of all-cause mortality than patients without a history of RAO.

Project financed under the program the Minister of Education and Science called “Regional Initiative of Excellence” in the years 2019–2023, project no. 024/RID/2018/19, amount of financing 11 999 000,00 PLN
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