Author(s): Ojaimi E, Nguyen TT, Klein R, Islam FM, Cotch MF, Klein BE, Wang JJ, Wong TY. Retinopathy signs in people without diabetes: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ophthalmology. 2011 Apr;118(4):656-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Nov 4. PMID 21055817
OBJECTIVE To describe the prevalence of retinopathy and associations with cardiovascular risk factors in persons without diabetes in 4 racial/ethnic groups (white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese).
DESIGN Population-based, cross-sectional study.
PARTICIPANTS We included 6176 subjects aged 45-84 years without diabetes, selected from 6 United States communities.
METHODS Fundus images were taken using 45° digital camera through dark-adapted pupils and were graded for retinopathy as defined by the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity scale: microaneurysms, hemorrhages, cotton wool spots, intraretinal microvascular abnormalities, hard exudates, venous beading, and new vessels.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Retinopathy and the association with cardiovascular risk factors.
RESULTS Prevalence rates of retinopathy in persons without diabetes were 12.5% overall, varying from 11.9% (white), 13.9% (black), 12.6% (Hispanic), to 17.2% (Chinese). Hypertension was strongly associated with retinopathy (odds ratio [OR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-1.75). After adjusting for age, gender, race, and other parameters, smoking (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.09-2.06) and increased internal carotid intima media thickness (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05-1.41) were associated with retinopathy. A range of serum inflammatory factors were examined, but none were found to be significant.
CONCLUSIONS Retinopathy in persons without diabetes is common, varies with race/ethnicity, and associated with cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, smoking, and carotid artery intima media thickness.