The relationship between changes in body mass index and retinal vascular caliber in children.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the longitudinal relationship between changes in childhood body mass index (BMI) and retinal vascular caliber. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study of 421 healthy children aged 7-9 years in 2001 who returned for follow-up in 2006. At both visits, retinal photographs and anthropometric measurements were taken following standardized protocols. Retinal arteriolar and venular calibers were measured using a computer-based program and summarized as central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE). RESULTS: At follow-up, mean weight, height, and BMI increased significantly (P < .001). Mean CRVE increased by 3.4 μm (P < .001) but mean CRAE did not alter significantly (P = .340). On multivariate analysis, greater BMI was cross-sectionally associated with narrower CRAE (P < .01) and wider CRVE (P < .01). On longitudinal analysis, increasing BMI was associated with increasing CRVE (P = .04) over the 5-year period. Baseline BMI was associated with increased venular caliber and decreased arteriolar caliber at follow-up, and vice versa (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Increasing BMI is associated with increasing retinal venular caliber over time in children, and baseline retinal vascular caliber changes increase the risk of higher BMI at follow-up. As both widened retinal venular caliber and greater BMI are associated with risk of cardiovascular events in adults, progressive retinal venular widening could be a manifestation of an adverse microvascular effect of obesity early in life.
Kurniawan, ED; Cheung, CY; Tay, WT; Mitchell, P; Saw, S-M; Wong, TY; Cheung, N
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