Is diabetic retinopathy an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke?

Kleins Lab // Publications // Feb 01 2007

PubMed ID: 17194880

Author(s): Cheung N, Rogers S, Couper DJ, Klein R, Sharrett AR, Wong TY. Is diabetic retinopathy an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke? Stroke. 2007 Feb;38(2):398-401. Epub 2006 Dec 28. PMID 17194880

Journal: Stroke, Volume 38, Issue 2, Feb 2007

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The relationship between diabetic retinopathy and ischemic stroke is uncertain and examined in this study.

METHODS A population-based, prospective cohort study of 1617 middle-aged persons with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy signs were ascertained from retinal photographs, and incident ischemic stroke events were prospectively identified and validated.

RESULTS Over an average follow-up of 7.8 years, there were 75 ischemic stroke events. After adjustment for age, gender, race, center, 6-year mean arterial blood pressure, anti-hypertensive treatment use, fasting glucose, insulin treatment, duration of diabetes, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and cigarette smoking status, diabetic retinopathy was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (hazard rate ratio, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.13 to 4.86).

CONCLUSIONS Diabetic retinopathy predicts incident ischemic stroke in people with diabetes, independent of other risk factors.