Synergistic interaction between prolonged increased glycemic exposure and mildly increased urinary albumin excretion on diabetic retinopathy

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The association of mild increase in urinary albumin excretion with diabetic retinopathy (DR) in clinical studies is controversial. The aim of this study is to clarify the interaction between increased glycemic exposure and mild increase in urinary albumin excretion on risk of DR.Data were collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2012. Overall, data from 953 participants without microalbuminuria (477 men and 476 women) were assessed. Logistic regression analysis was constructed to evaluate the association between DR and related clinical parameters, including urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR, mg/g creatinine). The biological interaction of glycemic status and UACR on DR was evaluated by 3 indices: RERI, the relative excess risk due to the interaction; AP, the attributable proportion due to the interaction; and S, the additive interaction index of synergy.We found that UACR, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and diabetic duration were deeply associated with increased risk of DR (UACR, odds ratio [OR] = 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02–1.07; HbA1c, OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.04–1.30; diabetic duration, OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.04–1.07). Furthermore, our interaction analysis demonstrated that synergistic interaction between HbA1c and UACR on development of DR was prominent in participants with diabetic duration of ≥10 years (adjusted RERI = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.10–1.74; adjusted AP = 0.29, 95% CI = −0.82–1.41; adjusted S = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.27–2.25), but not subjects with shorter diabetic duration.These findings imply that there is the interaction between prolonged hyperglycemic exposure and increased urinary albumin excretion may exert additive synergistic effect on vascular endothelial dysfunction in the eye, even before the appearance of overt diabetic nephropathy.

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