Purpose To investigate factors associated with poor visual acuity (VA) in branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO). Methods This was a retrospective cross-sectional study of 72 eyes with BRAO of 72 patients. For statistical comparison, we divided the patients into worse-VA (decimal VA < 0.5) and better-VA (decimal VA > = 0.5) groups. We examined the association of clinical findings, including blood biochemical test data and carotid artery ultrasound parameters, with poor VA. Results Median age, hematocrit, hemoglobin and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) differed significantly between the groups (P = 0.018, P < 0.01, P < 0.01, and P = 0.025). There was a tendency towards higher median IMT-Bmax in the worse-VA group (worse-VA vs. better-VA: 2.70 mm vs. 1.60 mm, P = 0.152). Spearman's rank correlation test revealed that logMAR VA was significantly correlated to IMT-Bmax (rs = 0.31, P < 0.01) and IMT-Cmax (rs = 0.24, P = 0.035). Furthermore, logMAR VA was significantly correlated to HDL level (rs = -0.33, P < 0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that IMT-Bmax (odds ratio [OR] = 2.70, P = 0.049), HDL level (OR = 0.91, P = 0.032), and female gender (OR = 15.63, P = 0.032) were independently associated with worse VA in BRAO. Conclusions We found that increased IMT-Bmax, decreased HDL, and female sex were associated with poor VA in BRAO patients. Our findings might suggest novel risk factors for visual dysfunction in BRAO and may provide new insights into the pathomechanisms underlying BRAO.