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A Wegner, M Köhler, G Zahlmann, B Kuch, H Loewel; Age Related Changes In The Number Of Perivoveal Vessels Of Normal And Hypertensive Population . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):4402.
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Purpose:To evaluate whether the number of perifoveal vessels changes with age and how hypertension influences this change in vessel number. Methods:A cross sectional study was performed among subjects ranging from 20 to 78 years who participated in the population-based KORA study, 2796 people participated in the study. Perifoveal vessels were counted in a masked way within 1500 qm from the foveola on digital fundus photographs. 278 people without hypertension, diabetes nor hyperlipidemia compose the normal cohort. 65 people with hypertension but no diabetes or hyperlipidemia were included in the hypertensive cohort. One eye photograph per person, which was randomly chosen, has been included in the evaluation. Results:The mean number of perifoveal vessels of normals between 20 to 29 years was 12,92,0. The number of perifoveal vessels decreased with age, with an average of 0,6 every decade (p=0,001). This change is gender independent. Within the normal cohort, people who did not smoke or ceased smoking at least for one year (n=188) the perifoveal vessels decrease was 0,5 per decade while the smokers (n=90) had a 0,8 decrease per decade (p=0,001). People with hypertension had a significantly lower number of perifoveal vessels compared with the normal subjects, on average 0.8 vessels less, independent of age or gender (p=0,001). Conclusion: The number of perifoveal vessels decreases with age. Smokers have an accelerated decrease of perifoveal vessels. Hypertension is associated with lower perifoveal vessel count.
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