DR causes heart failure

June 13, 2008

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an independent risk factor for heart failure (HF), according to a study published in the April 22 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an independent risk factor for heart failure (HF), according to a study published in the April 22 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Ning Cheung, MBBS of the Centre for Eye Research Australia at the University of Melbourne and colleagues conducted a ten-year retrospective population study of 1021 subjects. At baseline, all subjects had type 2 diabetes; none had renal complications, clinical coronary heart disease or HF; 12.8% of patients (n=125) had pre-existing DR.

At the nine-year follow-up, 10.1% of subjects (n=106) had developed HF. DR and non-DR subjects had different likelihoods of HF development: 21.6% and 8.5%, respectively. After adjusting for traditional HF risk factors, DR subjects were 2.5 times more likely than non-DR subjects to develop HF.

The researchers concluded that DR, and potentially other microvascular diseases, may play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of HF.