Purpose: To describe retinal vascular caliber and correlates in people with type 2 diabetes. Design: Population-based study. Participants: Thirteen hundred seventy persons diagnosed to have diabetes at or after 30 years of age in an 11-county area in south central Wisconsin from 1980 to 1982. Methods: Retinal photographs of 7 standard fields were taken; light box grading was done to determine retinopathy severity. Computer-assisted grading was done from a digitized image of field 1 to determine the central retinal arteriolar equivalent (CRAE; arteriolar caliber) and central retinal venular equivalent (CRVE; venular caliber). Main Outcome Measures: Retinal arteriolar and venular calibers. Results: In multivariable analyses in persons with panretinal photocoagulation excluded, while controlling for refractive error, CRAE was associated independently with age (per 10 years, β = -2.0 μm), mean arterial blood pressure (BP) (per 10 mmHg, β = -2.2 μm), smoking status (current vs. never smoked, β = 5.6 μm), and intraocular pressure (IOP) (per 1 mmHg, β = 0.2 μm). The CRVE was associated independently with age (per 10 years, β = -2.5 μm), mean arterial BP (per 10 mmHg, β = -2.1 μm), smoking status (current vs. never smoked, β = 11.6 μm), pack-years smoked (per 10 pack-years, β = 1.0 μm), body mass index (per kg/m2, β = 0.3 mm), pulse rate (per 10 beats/minute, β = 1.5 μm), retinopathy severity (per 1 level, β = 1.05 μm), and IOP (per 10 mmHg, β = -0.5 μm). Smaller CRAEs and CRVEs were found in eyes with panretinal photocoagulation treatment than in eyes without such treatment. Conclusions: In persons with type 2 diabetes, variations in retinal vascular caliber are related to various systemic and ocular factors. Understanding these relationships may provide further insights into early retinal vascular changes in diabetes.
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