Retinal Arteriolar Narrowing Related to Increased CHD Risk in Women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 05 – In women, but not in men, microvascular damage reflected in retinal arteriolar narrowing is associated with the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), researchers report in the March 6th issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Tien Yin Wong, from the National University of Singapore, and colleagues from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, collected data on 9648 men and women, 51 to 72 years of age, from four US communities. These subjects did not have CHD at the third followup examination in 1993 to 1995.

Using digitized photographs of the subjects' retinas the researchers measured arteriolar and venular diameters of the subjects and then calculated a summary arteriole-to-venule ratio.

Eighty-four women and 187 men experienced CHD events during an average 3.5 years of followup, the researchers report. Dr. Wong's team found that among women for each standard deviation (SD) decrease in arteriole-to-venule ratio there was a relative risk of 1.37 for any CHD event and a relative risk of 1.50 for acute MI. …

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