Retinal vessel diameters and risk of hypertension: The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Ryo Kawasaki, Ning Cheung, Jie Jin Wang, Ronald Klein, Barbara Ek Klein, Mary Frances Cotch, A. Richey Sharrett, Steven Shea, Fm Amirul Islam, Tien Y. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe the prospective relationship of retinal vessel diameters with risk of hypertension in a multiethnic population-based cohort. METHODS: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis is a population-based study of subclinical cardiovascular disease among white, Africanĝ€" American, Hispanic, and Chinese American adults aged 45ĝ€"84 years. Retinal vessel diameters were measured using a standardized imaging software at the second examination (considered baseline in this analysis) and summarized as the central retinal artery/vein equivalent. Presence of retinopathy and retinal focal arteriolar narrowing and arteriovenous nicking was assessed by trained graders. Incidence of hypertension was defined among participants at risk as systolic blood pressure at least 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure at least 90 mmHg, or use of an antihypertensive medication. RESULTS: Of the initial 6237 participants at baseline, 2583 were at risk of hypertension. After 3.2 ± 0.5 years of follow-up, 448 (17.3%) participants developed hypertension. After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, the average of mean arterial blood pressure in the first and second examination, and other vascular risk factors, persons with narrower retinal arteriolar diameter and wider venular diameter at baseline were more likely to develop hypertension [odds ratio per SD decrease in central retinal artery equivalent 1.20, 95% confidence intervals 1.02, 1.42; and odds ratio per SD increase in central retinal vein equivalent 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.02, 1.37]. Persons with focal arteriolar narrowing were also more likely to develop hypertension (odds ratio 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.09, 2.97). CONCLUSION: Findings from this multiethnic population confirm that narrower retinal arteriolar diameter and wider venular diameter are associated with the development of hypertension independent of traditional risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2386-2393
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of hypertension
Volume27
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Microcirculation
  • Retinal vessel diameter
  • Retinopathy
  • The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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