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Do retinopathy signs in non-diabetic individuals predict the subsequent risk of diabetes?
  1. T Y Wong1,2,
  2. Q Mohamed1,
  3. R Klein3,
  4. D J Couper4
  1. 1 Retinal Vascular Imaging Centre, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. 2Singapore Eye Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
  4. 4Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Tien Y Wong MD, PhD, Centre for Eye Research Australia, 32 Gisborne Street, VIC 3002, Australia; twong{at}unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Background/aims: Isolated retinopathy signs are common in non-diabetic individuals and have been shown to be associated with impaired glucose metabolism. In a cohort of people without diabetes, the association of these retinopathy signs and subsequent development of diabetes were examined.

Methods: A population based cohort study of 7992 people aged 49–73 years without diabetes was conducted. Retinal photographs of these participants were evaluated for the presence of retinopathy signs according to a standardised protocol. Incident cases of diabetes were identified prospectively.

Results: After a follow up of 3 years, 291 (3.6%) people developed incident diabetes. In the total cohort, retinopathy was not significantly associated with incident diabetes (4.7% v 3.6%, multivariable adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.1, 95% confidence intervals (CI), 0.7 to 1.9). However, among participants with a positive family history of diabetes, retinopathy was associated with incident diabetes (10.4% v 4.8%, multivariable adjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI, 1.0 to 5.3). Among participants without a family history of diabetes, retinopathy was not associated with incident diabetes

Conclusions: In individuals with a family history of diabetes, retinopathy signs predict subsequent risk of clinical diabetes.

  • diabetic retinopathy
  • type 2 diabetes
  • retinopathy
  • epidemiology

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none declared

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