Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) - Research Publications

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    Novel measures of cardiovascular health and its association with prevalence and progression of age-related macular degeneration: the CHARM study
    McCarty, CA ; Dowrick, A ; Cameron, J ; McGrath, B ; Robman, LD ; Dimitrov, P ; Tikellis, G ; Nicolas, C ; McNeil, J ; Guymer, R (BMC, 2008-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: To determine if novel measures of cardiovascular health are associated with prevalence or progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Measures of the cardiovascular system: included intima media thickness (IMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV), systemic arterial compliance (SAC), carotid augmentation index (AI). For the prevalence study, hospital-based AMD cases and population-based age- and gender-matched controls with no signs of AMD in either eye were enrolled. For the progression component, participants with early AMD were recruited from two previous studies; cases were defined as progression in one or both eyes and controls were defined as no progression in either eye. RESULTS: 160 cases and 160 controls were included in the prevalence component. The upper two quartiles of SAC, implying good cardiovascular health, were significantly associated with increased risk of AMD (OR = 2.54, 95% CL = 1.29, 4.99). High PWV was associated with increased prevalent AMD. Progression was observed in 82 (32.3%) of the 254 subjects recruited for the progression component. Higher AI (worse cardiovascular function) was protective for AMD progression (OR = 0.30, 95%CL = 0.13, 0.69). Higher aortic PWV was associated with increased risk of AMD progression; the highest risk was seen with the second lowest velocity (OR = 6.22, 95% CL = 2.35, 16.46). CONCLUSION: The results were unexpected in that better cardiovascular health was associated with increased risk of prevalent AMD and progression. Inconsistent findings between the prevalence and progression components could be due to truly different disease etiologies or to spurious findings, as can occur with inherent biases in case control studies of prevalence. Further investigation of these non-invasive methods of characterizing the cardiovascular system should be undertaken as they may help to further elucidate the role of the cardiovascular system in the etiology of prevalent AMD and progression.
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    Longitudinal association of glucose metabolism with retinopathy - Results from the Australian Diabetes Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study
    Tapp, RJ ; Tikellis, G ; Wong, TY ; Harper, CA ; Zimmet, PZ ; Shaw, JE (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2008-07-01)
    OBJECTIVE: We determined the longitudinal association of glucose metabolism with retinopathy in a sample of the Australian population. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The Australian Diabetes Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study is a national, longitudinal study of adults aged > or =25 years from 42 randomly selected areas of Australia. Retinopathy was assessed at baseline in 1999-2000 and 5 years later in 2004-2005 in participants identified as having diabetes (based on self-report and oral glucose tolerance test) and impaired glucose metabolism and in a random sample with normal glucose tolerance. Complete retinal data were available for 1,192 participants. Photographs were graded at two time points according to a simplified version of the Wisconsin grading system. RESULTS: The 5-year incidences of retinopathy were 13.9 and 3.0% among those with known and newly diagnosed diabetes at baseline, respectively. Of those who developed incident newly diagnosed diabetes at follow-up, 11.9% had retinopathy at baseline compared with 5.6% of those who did not progress to incident newly diagnosed diabetes (P = 0.037). After adjustment for factors identified as risk factors for diabetes, individuals with retinopathy signs at baseline were twice as likely to develop incident newly diagnosed diabetes compared with those who did not have retinopathy signs at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: The 5-year incidence of retinopathy was 13.9% among individuals with known diabetes. Nondiabetic individuals with retinopathy signs at baseline had a twofold higher risk of developing incident newly diagnosed diabetes 5 years later. This result provides further evidence that mild retinopathy signs may be a preclinical marker of underlying microvascular disease and future diabetes risk.