Body fat distribution, metabolic and inflammatory markers and retinal microvasculature in school-age children. The Generation R Study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations of body fatness, metabolic and inflammatory markers with retinal vessel calibers among children. DESIGN: We performed a population-based cohort study among 4145 school-age children. At the median age of 6.0 years (95% range 5.8, 8.0 years), we measured body mass index, total and abdominal fat mass, metabolic and inflammatory markers (blood levels of lipids, insulin and C-peptide and C-reactive protein) and retinal vascular calibers from retinal photographs. RESULTS: We observed that compared with normal weight children, obese children had narrower retinal arteriolar caliber (difference -0.21 s.d. score (SDS; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.35, -0.06)), but not venular caliber. Continuous analyses showed that higher body mass index and total body fat mass, but not android/gynoid fat mass ratio and pre-peritoneal fat mass, were associated with narrower retinal arteriolar caliber (P<0.05 for body mass index and total body fat mass), but not with retinal venular caliber. Lipid and insulin levels were not associated with retinal vessel calibers. Higher C-reactive protein was associated with only wider retinal venular caliber (difference 0.10 SDS (95% CI 0.06, 0.14) per SDS increase in C-reactive protein). This latter association was not influenced by body mass index. CONCLUSIONS: Higher body fatness is associated with narrower retinal arteriolar caliber, whereas increased C-reactive protein levels are associated with wider retinal venular caliber. Increased fat mass and inflammation correlate with microvascular development from school-age onwards.
Gishti, O; Jaddoe, VWV; Hofman, A; Wong, TY; Ikram, MK; Gaillard, R
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