Wong TY, Mohamed Q, Klein R, Couper DJ. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006 Mar;90(3):301-3.
Retinal Vascular Imaging Centre, Centre for Eye Research Australia,
Univeristy of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne Street, VIC 3002, Australia.
Isolated retinopathy signs are common in non-diabetic individuals and
have been shown to be associated with impaired glucose metabolism. In a
cohort of people without diabetes, the association of these retinopathy
signs and subsequent development of diabetes were examined.
A population based cohort study of 7992 people aged 49-73 years without
diabetes was conducted. Retinal photographs of these participants were
evaluated for the presence of retinopathy signs according to a
standardised protocol. Incident cases of diabetes were identified
After a follow up of 3 years, 291 (3.6%) people developed incident
diabetes. In the total cohort, retinopathy was not significantly
associated with incident diabetes (4.7% v 3.6%, multivariable adjusted
odds ratio (OR) 1.1, 95% confidence intervals (CI), 0.7 to 1.9).
However, among participants with a positive family history of diabetes,
retinopathy was associated with incident diabetes (10.4% v 4.8%,
multivariable adjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI, 1.0 to 5.3). Among participants
without a family history of diabetes, retinopathy was not associated
with incident diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: In individuals with a family history of diabetes, retinopathy signs predict subsequent risk of clinical diabetes.
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