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High Caloric Intake Linked to Diabetic Retinopathy

Related study shows that signs of retinopathy are present in Asians without diabetes

THURSDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy if they have a high caloric intake, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. In a related study in the same issue, signs of retinopathy are present in Asians without diabetes, with the higher risk associated with traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Monique S. Roy, M.D., from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, and a colleague surveyed 469 African-American patients with type 1 diabetes regarding their nutrient intake. After six years, the incidence of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema) was higher in patients with higher total caloric intake. In particular, the incidence of macular edema was higher in patients with high sodium intake.

V. Swetha E. Jeganathan, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues examined the prevalence and risk factors of retinopathy in 3,280 Malays living in Singapore. Of the 2,500 individuals without diabetes, 6 percent had signs of retinopathy. The risk of diabetes was higher in individuals with higher serum glucose levels, higher systolic blood pressure, higher body mass index, and a history of heart attack.

"Similar to studies in white individuals, signs of retinopathy are common in Asian persons without diabetes," Jeganathan and colleagues conclude. "Early signs of retinopathy in persons without diabetes are related to metabolic and vascular risk factors and may indicate intermediate pathologic changes along the pathway to cardiovascular disease."

Abstract - Roy
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Abstract - Jeganathan
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