Relation between intake of vitamins C and E and risk of diabetic retinopathy in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Julie Mares // Kleins Lab // Publications // May 01 2004

PubMed ID: 15113727

Author(s): Millen AE, Klein R, Folsom AR, Stevens J, Palta M, Mares JA. Relation between intake of vitamins C and E and risk of diabetic retinopathy in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;79(5):865-73. PMID 15113727

Journal: The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 79, Issue 5, May 2004

BACKGROUND The potential protective effect of vitamins C and E against the development of diabetic retinopathy has not been thoroughly evaluated in epidemiologic studies.

OBJECTIVE The objective was to study the association between prevalent diabetic retinopathy and intake of vitamins C and E in participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

DESIGN A total of 1353 subjects with type 2 diabetes diagnosed between 1993 and 1995 or before were included. Nutrient intake was assessed with a food-frequency and supplement questionnaire administered between 1987-1989 and 1993-1995. Prevalent retinopathy (n = 224) was determined in 1993-1995 from graded fundus photographs.

RESULTS No association of retinopathy with intake of vitamin C or E from food alone or from food and supplements combined was observed. The odds ratios and 95% CIs for retinopathy for quartile 4 compared with quartile 1 of vitamins C and E intakes from food and supplements combined were 1.1 (0.7, 1.9) and 1.3 (0.8, 2.2), respectively, after adjustment for diabetes treatment and serum glucose. There was a significant interaction of the observed relations with serum glucose concentration (P or =3 y before 1993-1995) of vitamin C or E supplements or multisupplements compared with reported use of no supplements: 0.5 (0.3, 0.8), 0.5 (0.2, 0.8), and 0.4 (0.2, 0.9), respectively.

CONCLUSION No significant overall associations were observed between risk of retinopathy and intake of major dietary antioxidants. The observed association between risk of retinopathy and supplement use may reflect nondietary factors or a possible benefit of supplementation.