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Ophthalmology. 2006 Oct;113(10):1752-7. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Retinal vascular abnormalities in adult Chinese in rural and urban Beijing: the Beijing Eye Study.

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  • 1Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital and Capital University of Medical Science, Beijing, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess retinal vascular abnormalities, including focal and generalized arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking, and arteriolar sheathing, in adult Chinese in rural and urban Beijing, and their associations with self-reported diagnosis of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

DESIGN:

Population-based cross-sectional cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS:

The study included 4439 subjects out of 5324 subjects invited to participate (response rate, 83.4%) with an age of > or =40 years. It was divided into a rural part (n = 1973 [44.4%]) and an urban part (n = 2466 [55.6%]). Mean age was 56.2+/-10.6 years (range, 40-101 years).

METHODS:

Color optic disc photographs were morphometrically examined. One eye of each participant was randomly selected. Generalized and focal arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking (arteriovenous crossing abnormalities), and arteriolar sheathing were assessed. Self-reported histories of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and habits of smoking and alcohol drinking were obtained from questionnaires.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Frequency of generalized and focal arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking, and arteriolar sheathing.

RESULTS:

Optic disc photographs were available for 4228 (95.2%) subjects. Focal arteriolar narrowing was found in 6.3%, arteriovenous nicking in 6.6%, arteriolar sheathing in 4.8%, and generalized narrowing in 4.3% of the subjects. Abnormalities were more common in the temporal quadrant; they were rare in the inferior nasal quadrant. Frequencies and severities of all retinal microvascular abnormalities examined increased with age (P<0.05). The microvascular abnormalities were detected more frequently in the rural population than in the urban population (P<0.05). After controlling for age, gender, area, and habit of drinking alcohol, generalized arteriolar narrowing (odds ratio [OR], 2.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.64, 4.22), focal arteriolar narrowing (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.00, 2.29), and arteriolar sheathing (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.08, 2.71) were significantly associated with the self-reported diagnosis of arterial hypertension. The microvascular abnormalities were not significantly associated with the self-reported diagnosis of coronary heart disease or stroke.

CONCLUSIONS:

Retinal vascular abnormalities in adult Chinese increase with age and are more commonly found in people living in rural areas. Retinal vascular abnormalities are associated with the self-reported diagnosis of arterial hypertension, and are not related to self-reported diagnosis of coronary heart disease or previous cerebrovascular events such as stroke.

PMID:
16876866
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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