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Emil D. Kurniawan, Ning Cheung, Wan Ting Tay, Carol Y. Cheung, Paul Mitchell, Seang-Mei Saw, Tien Y. Wong; Longitudinal Changes In Retinal Vascular Caliber Measurements In Children And Its Relationship With Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6347.
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Changes in retinal vascular caliber in adults are linked to cardiovascular disease. This study aims to describe changes in retinal vascular caliber in children over a 5-year period, and to investigate its relationship with two major cardiovascular risk factors: body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure.
Participants from the Singapore Cohort Study of Risk Factors for Myopia (SCORM) (n=421, aged 7-9 years at baseline) underwent retinal photography at two different visits 5 years apart (2001 and 2006). Retinal arteriolar and venular diameters were measured using a computer-based program, and summarized as the central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE) respectively. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine their relationship with BMI and mean arterial blood pressure (MABP).
Mean CRVE increased by 3.34µm (p<0.001) between visits (217.02µm±16.80 at baseline and 220.36µm±17.13 at 5-year follow-up); in contrast, mean CRAE did not change (147.05µm and 147.41µm, p=0.460). Mean weight, height and BMI significantly increased over the two visits (p<0.001), but MABP did not change (p>0.05). BMI was significantly associated with wider CRVE at both baseline (β=0.585, p=0.030) and follow-up visits (β=0.461, p=0.048), and the increase in BMI was significantly associated with the increase in CRVE (β=0.573, p=0.045). MABP was significantly associated with narrower CRAE only at the follow-up examination (β=-1.955, p<0.001) but not at baseline, and the change in MABP was not associated with CRAE.
Our data in children shows a temporal increase in retinal venular caliber over 5 years, which was correlated to an increase in BMI. In contrast, retinal arteriolar caliber did not change significantly over this period, reflecting the lack of change in measured blood pressure in healthy children.
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