Is diabetic retinopathy an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke?

Ning Cheung, Sophie Rogers, David J. Couper, Ronald Klein, A. Richey Sharrett, Tien Y. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - The relationship between diabetic retinopathy and ischemic stroke is uncertain and examined in this study. METHODS - A population-based, prospective cohort study of 1617 middle-aged persons with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy signs were ascertained from retinal photographs, and incident ischemic stroke events were prospectively identified and validated. RESULTS - Over an average follow-up of 7.8 years, there were 75 ischemic stroke events. After adjustment for age, gender, race, center, 6-year mean arterial blood pressure, anti-hypertensive treatment use, fasting glucose, insulin treatment, duration of diabetes, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and cigarette smoking status, diabetic retinopathy was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (hazard rate ratio, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.13 to 4.86). CONCLUSIONS - Diabetic retinopathy predicts incident ischemic stroke in people with diabetes, independent of other risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-401
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Ischemic stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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  • Cite this

    Cheung, N., Rogers, S., Couper, D. J., Klein, R., Sharrett, A. R., & Wong, T. Y. (2007). Is diabetic retinopathy an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke? Stroke, 38(2), 398-401.