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D. Drobnjak, N. C. B. B. Taarnhøj, L. Kessel, T. Jørgensen, M. Larsen; Association of Retinal Vessel Diameters With Estimates of Ischemic Heart Disease Risk. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5416.
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To compare retinal vessel diameters with a quantitative compound estimate of ischemic heart disease risk (Precard) based on non-ocular risk factors.
The Inter99 study population comprised an age- and sex-stratified sample of 13,016 participants residing in 11 suburban municipalities of Copenhagen Country. Of 6784 subjects aged 30-60 years who participated in the main study, a subgroup of 970 subjects participated in the eye study. The analysis comprised a subgroup of 468 subjects that were representative of the background population. Ischemic heart disease (IHD) risk at age 60 was estimated using Precard software from measures of non-vascular risk factors (age, sex, cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, familial predisposition and prior heart disease). Vessel diameters were expressed as central retinal vein equivalent diameter (CRVE) and central retinal artery equivalent diameter (CRAE). Multiple regression analysis was used to compare data sets.
In a combined analysis controlling for the opposite vessel type, IHD risk standardized to age 60 was significantly correlated with decreasing CRAE (p=0,021) and with increasing CRVE (p< 0,001).
On a population basis, narrow retinal arteries and dilated retinal veins are associated with an increased risk of IHD according to a method of combining multiple risk factor values into a single linear risk parameter. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether retinal vessel diameter provides independent added value to the Precard method of IHD risk prediction.
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