Background: There are growing evidence that indicate a relation between diabetic microangiopathy and cardiovascular disease with different mechanism.
Objective: To investigate the association of diabetic retinopathy (DR) with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: 180 type 2 diabetic patients who were free of CVD at baseline were enrolled. Patients were classified according to fundoscopy to no diabetic retinopathy (NDR), non proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). CVD risk at 10 years was estimated using the UK Prospective Diabetes Study risk engine and patients were classified as high risk (>20%), moderate risk (10-20%) and low risk (<10%).
Results: Prevalence of DR was 30.5%. Risk of CVD was significantly higher in PDR vs NDR (18.7±10.0% vs. 11.3±8.4%, p= 0.01) .The prevalence of NPDR (32% vs. 17.8%, p=0.002) and PDR (20% vs. 4.1%, p=0.04) was more in high risk group for CVD in comparison with low risk group for CVD. After adjustment for traditional risk factor for CVD, the risk for CVD remained markedly increased in the presence of DR.
Conclusion: DR is associated with estimated risk of CVD in type 2 diabetic patients.