Retinal microvascular signs are associated with chronic kidney disease in persons with and without diabetes.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: In persons with diabetes, retinal microvascular abnormalities are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, it is not clear if the same relationship applies in persons without diabetes. METHODS: We examined 2,971 participants from a population-based study (240 with, 2,731 without diabetes). Retinal photographs were masked graded for retinal microvascular signs, and CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR(MDRD)) <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2). RESULTS: Retinal microvascular signs were more frequent in persons with CKD. After adjusting for age, gender, systolic blood pressure and fasting plasma glucose, CKD was associated with both presence of retinopathy (odds ratio, OR, 1.2, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.0-1.5) and venular dilation (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.5). These associations were similar in persons with and without diabetes. There was a significant trend for increasing magnitude of associations of retinopathy with increasing severity levels of CKD (p for trend 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Retinal microvascular signs, namely retinopathy lesions and venular dilation, are associated with CKD both in persons with, and without diabetes. This supports the concept that retinal microvascular signs are indicators of generalized microvascular disease even in the absence of diabetes, and reinforces the link between retinal and renal microcirculations.
Liew, G; Mitchell, P; Wong, TY; Wang, JJ
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