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Ryo Kawasaki, Yumiko Kawasaki, Atsushi Hirayama, Sueshi Ito; Association of Increased Body Fat and Retinal Arteriolar Narrowing in Overweight/obese School Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4474.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Childhood obese has doubled between 1980’s and 2000’s in Japan, and remained high although there seems a slight declining trend in the last 5 years. Overweight/obesity in childhood is known to cause insulin resistance, and may lead to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. To examine associations of multiple indices of overweight/obesity and retinal vessel calibers in Japanese overweight/obese school children.
In April to October, 2013, we recruited 46 overweight/obese school children (7 to 16 years old, median 9 years old, inter-quartile range 11 to 12; 46% female) at Obesity and Weight Management Clinic for Children, Shonai Hospital, Yamagata, Japan. We quantitatively measured retinal vascular caliber (central retinal artery and vein equivalent [CRAE and CRVE]). Associations between indices of overweight/obesity (body weight, body mass index, body fat, ponderal index, and waist-to-height ratio) and CRAE or CRVE were estimated using multiple regression models adjusting for age, gender, mean arterial blood pressure, and CRAE for CRVE and vice versa.
Mean CRAE and CRVE were 147.4 micrometer (SD12.6) and 209.0 (SD 17.3) micrometer, respectively. Each increase in body fat was associated with 3.4 micrometer decline in the retinal arteriolar caliber (CRAE -3.4 micrometer, 95%CI -6.7, -0.1; p=0.044); those with the highest 25% in body fat had -9.94 micrometer (95%CI -19.6, -0.29; p=0.044) narrower retinal arterioles than those in the lowest 25% of body fat. There were no significant associations between indices of overweight/obesity and retinal venular caliber in this study sample.
Increased body fat, but not other indices of overweight/obesity, was associated with narrower retinal arteriolar caliber. This results support the idea that cardiovascular risks observed as retinal arteriolar narrowing has become evident due to overweight/obesity even in school children. However, the reason why body fat was strongly associated with retinal vessel compared to other indices of overweight/obesity is not clear and warrants further studies to elucidate this.
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