Relationship of retinal vascular calibre and diabetic retinopathy in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Desheng Diabetic Eye Study

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AimsTo describe the relationship of retinal arteriolar and venular calibre with diabetic retinopathy (DR) and related risk factors, including glucose levels and other biomarkers in a Chinese population with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).MethodsA cross-sectional study. Patients with T2DM were recruited from a local community in urban Beijing. Seven fields 30° colour fundus photographs were taken and examined for the presence and severity of DR using a standardised grading system. Retinal vascular calibres were measured and expressed as average central retinal arteriolar and venular equivalent using a computer-based program.ResultsA total of 1340 patients with T2DM were included for analysis. Of these, 472 (35.22%) had DR. Wider retinal venular calibre, but not arteriolar calibre, was associated with increasing glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin A1c levels (p<0.006) and dyslipidaemia (p for trend <0.05). After adjusting for possible covariates, the higher quartile of retinal venular calibre was associated with higher prevalence of any DR (OR 2, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.95). Venular calibre increased from 224.33 μm in those without retinopathy to 231.21 μm in those with mild, 241.01 μm in those with moderate and 235.65 μm in those with severe retinopathy (p for trend <0.001). Arteriolar calibre was not associated with DR.ConclusionsIn the current study, wider venular calibre, but not arteriolar calibre, was shown to be associated with development and increased severity of DR independently from other risk factors in a Chinese diabetic population.

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