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Ling Jun Li, Carol Yim Lui Cheung, Audrey Chia, Xiao Yu Lin, Rohit Varma, Paul Mitchell, Tien Yin Wong, Seang Mei Saw; Influence Of Blood Pressure On Retinal Vascular Caliber In Young Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3593.
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Prior studies have reported that blood pressure (BP) has a significant influence on retinal vascular caliber both in adults and children aged 6 years and above. However, few studies were conducted in children under 6. Our study aims to examine the association between BP and retinal vascular caliber in Singapore Chinese preschoolers aged 4-5 years.
A total of 385 eligible and healthy Singapore Chinese children aged 4 to 5 years, who were recruited in The Strabismus, Amblyopia and Refractive Error Study in Singaporean Chinese Preschoolers (STARS) from May 2006 through October 2008, underwent BP measurements and retinal photographs. Anthropometric and optical biometric measurements such as height, weight and axial length were taken orderly.
The mean retinal arteriolar and venular calibers were 156.19-µm and 220.01-µm in boys, and 161.97-µm and 224.22-µm in girls. Higher systolic BP was associated with narrower retinal arterioles (157.07±14.08-µm vs. 161.50±18.26-µm; comparing highest versus lowest systolic BP quintiles, p-trend=0.01). After adjusting for age, gender, father’s education, body mass index, birth weight, axial length and calibre of the fellow retinal vessel, each 10 mm Hg increase in systolic BP was associated with 2.00-µm (95% CI: 0.39 to 3.61; p=0.02) retinal arteriolar narrowing and 2.51-µm (95% CI: 0.35 to 4.68; p=0.02) retinal venular widening. However, neither diastolic BP nor mean arterial BP was associated with retinal arteriolar or venular caliber.
In very young children aged 4-5 years, higher systolic BP is associated with narrower retinal arterioles and wider retinal venules. This suggests that elevated BP may affect the retinal microvasculature from early childhood.
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