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Retinal detachment and occupational lifting: rediscovering lost knowledge 

Retinal detachment and occupational lifting: rediscovering lost knowledge
Retinal detachment and occupational lifting: rediscovering lost knowledge

Stefano Mattioli

, Stefania Curti

, Andrea Farioli

, and Francesco S. Violante

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date: 20 October 2020

Retinal detachment is the separation of the neurosensory retina from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium. Incidence ranges from 6.3 to 17.9 cases per 100,000 person-years. In the past, the possibility was debated that retinal detachment, particularly among myopic subjects, could be caused by lifting heavy weights. Findings from a case–control study among myopics support this hypothesis (heavy lifting: odds ratio (OR) 4.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6–13). Body mass index also showed a clear association (top quartile: OR 6.8, 95%CI 1.6–29). Severe myopia, ocular surgery, and ocular/head trauma were confirmed as important risk factors. A large population-based study carried out in Tuscany showed that surgically treated retinal detachment was almost twice as common among manual workers as non-manual workers, reinforcing the evidence that work-related factors are relevant to onset. Future studies should investigate exposure–response relationship between lifting and risk of retinal detachment.

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