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A. Islam, R. Klein, B.E. K. Klein, M.F. Cotch, C. Castro, A.R. Sharrett, E. Shahar, T.Y. Wong; Retinal Vascular Caliber, Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Inflammation:: The Multi–Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):934.
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To describe the relationship of retinal arteriolar and venular caliber with cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors, including inflammatory biomarkers, in a multi–ethnic US population.
Cross–sectional study comprising 5,979 persons aged 45 to 84 years residing in six U.S. communities. Retinal arteriolar and venular caliber was measured from digital retinal photographs and summarized in terms of central retinal vascular diameters using a computer–based program. Participants were assessed for standard cardiovascular risk factors and a range of biomarkers of inflammation (e.g., high sensitivity C–reactive protein [hsCRP], interleukin–6 [IL6], plasma fibrinogen) and endothelial dysfunction (e.g., soluble intercellular adhesion molecule–1 [sICAM–1], plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 [PAI–1]).
The mean central retinal arteriolar caliber was 144.1 (±14.4 SD) µm, and central retinal venular caliber 214.0 (±22.2 SD) µm. In models controlling for age, gender, race and center, smaller retinal arteriolar caliber was related to higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, hypertension, alcohol consumption, greater BMI, and higher levels of total homocysteine. Larger retinal arteriolar caliber was related to diabetes, smoking, and higher levels of plasma fibrinogen. After similarly controlling for age, gender, race and center, larger retinal venular caliber was related to diabetes, smoking, greater BMI and waist hip ratio, higher levels of serum glucose, plasma triglyceride, plasma LDL–cholesterol, hsCRP, plasma fibrinogen, IL6, sICAM–1 and PAI–1, and lower levels of HDL–cholesterol.
Retinal arteriolar and venular caliber is associated with a range of cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, BMI and dyslipidemia. Venular caliber is additionally associated with systemic inflammation.
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