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N. Cheung, S. Rogers, K. de Haseth, P. Mitchell, S. Saw, T. Wong; Body Mass Index and Retinal Vessel Caliber in Children: The Singapore Cohort Study of Risk Factors for Myopia (SCORM) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):918.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe the relationship between body mass index, anthropometric factors and retinal vascular calibers in children.
A population–based cross–sectional study of 768 children aged 7 to 9 years who participated in the Singapore Cohort study Of the Risk factors for Myopia (SCORM). These children had retinal photographs taken of one eye in 2001. Retinal vascular calibers were measured using a computer–based program and combined to provide average calibers of arterioles and venules in that eye. Associations of these retinal vascular measurements with body mass index (BMI), height, weight, and body surface area (BSA) were analyzed.
In this population, the mean retinal arteriolar caliber was 156.4µm (95% confidence interval [CI]: 155.44–157.36) and venular caliber was 225.42µm (95% CI: 224.10–226.74). Retinal venular caliber was 5.56µm (95% CI: 1.80–9.32; p=0.004) larger in the highest compared to the lowest quartile of BMI, with a significant trend of increasing caliber across all quartiles (p for trend=0.022). After controlling for age, gender, race, parental monthly income, axial length, and gestational age, birth weight, and birth length, there was a 1.70µm (95% CI: 0.68–2.72; p=0.001) increase in retinal venular diameter for each 2kg/m2 increase in BMI. Further adjustment for mean arterial blood pressure had minimal impact on this association, with a 2.04µm (95% CI: 0.59–3.50, p=0.006) increase in retinal venular diameter for each 2kg/m2 increase in BMI. In multivariate analysis, height, weight and BSA were also significantly and positively associated with wider retinal venular caliber. BMI and other anthropometric factors were not associated with retinal arteriolar caliber.
Our study provides evidence of an association between greater BMI and larger retinal venular caliber in children. Given that changes in retinal vascular caliber may predict cardiovascular diseases in adults, the significance of these findings in children warrants further research.
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