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B. Taylor, J.J. Wang, E. Rochtchina, T.Y. Wong, R. Klein, P. Mitchell, Blue Mountains Eye Study; Does Obesity Have An Effect On Retinal Vessel Diameter? the Blue Mountains Eye Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):5256.
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Purpose: Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of large vessel atherosclerosis. Its effect on microvascular disease is less clear. We aimed to investigate the relation between body mass index (BMI) and retinal arteriolar and venular diameters in an older population. Methods: Retinal photographs were taken on 3,654 persons aged 49 years or older in the Blue Mountains Eye Study. The diameter of retinal arterioles and venules was measured from digitized right eye retinal images, and summarized. The ratio of their diameters, the arteriole–to–venule ratio (AVR), was also calculated. BMI was calculated as weight (kg)/ height (m)2. Results: Mean BMI was 26.1 (±4.6) in this population. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking, fasting glucose level and mean arterial blood pressure, BMI was not associated with arteriolar diameter (p=0.2), but was associated with larger venular diameter (beta coefficient 0.44, p<.0001) and smaller AVR (beta coefficient –0.00116, p<.0001). This association persisted after excluding persons with hypertension or diabetes. Conclusions: We conclude that higher BMI is associated with larger retinal venular diameter, independent of hypertension, diabetes and cigarette smoking. There is no influence of BMI on retinal arteriolar diameter. These data suggest that obesity could also have an effect on microvascular structure.
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