Saf Health Work.  2012 Mar;3(1):52-57.

Occupational Lifting Tasks and Retinal Detachment in Non-Myopics and Myopics: Extended Analysis of a Case-Control Study

  • 1Section of Occupational Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Nephrology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • 2Ophthalmology Unit, Maggiore Pizzardi CA Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


Lifting heavy weights involves the Valsalva manoeuvre, which leads to intraocular pressure spikes. We used data from a case-control study to further investigate the hypothesis that occupational lifting is a risk factor for retinal detachment.
The study population included 48 cases (patients operated for retinal detachment) and 84 controls (outpatients attending an eye clinic). The odds ratios (OR) of idiopathic retinal detachment were estimated with a logistic regression model (adjusted for age, sex and body mass index). Three indexes were used to examine exposure to lifting; 1) maximum load lifted, 2) average weekly lifting, 3) lifelong cumulative lifting.
For all indexes, the most exposed subjects showed an increased risk of retinal detachment compared with the unexposed (index 1: OR 3.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-10.48; index 2: OR 3.24, 95% CI 1.32-7.97; index 3: OR 2.23, 95% CI 1.27-8.74) and dose-response relationships were apparent.
These results reinforce the hypothesis that heavy occupational lifting may be a relevant risk factor for retinal detachment.


Retinal detachment; Lifting; Occupational exposure; Occupational diseases; Case-control studies
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