Retinal Vascular Caliber, Iris Color, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Irish Nun Eye Study

Amy McGowan, Giuliana Silvestri, Evelyn Moore, Vittorio Silvestri, Christopher C. Patterson, Alexander P. Maxwell, Gareth J. McKay

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Abstract

Pupose. To evaluate the relationship between retinal vascular caliber (RVC), iris color and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in elderly Irish nuns. Methods. Data from 1233 participants in the cross-sectional observational Irish Nun Eye Study were assessed from digital photographs with a standardized protocol using computer-assisted software. Macular images were graded according to the modified Wisconsin age-related maculopathy grading system. Regression models were used to assess associations, adjusting for age, mean arterial blood pressure, body mass index, refraction and fellow RVC. Results. In total, 1122 (91%) participants had gradable retinal images of sufficient quality for vessel assessment (mean age: 76.3 years [range: 56-100 years]). In an unadjusted analysis, we found some support for a previous finding that individuals with blue iris color had narrower retinal venules compared to those with brown iris color (P<0.05) but this was no longer significant after adjustment. AMD status was categorized as no AMD, any AMD and late AMD only. Individuals with any AMD (early or late AMD) had significantly narrower arterioles and venules compared to those with no AMD in an unadjusted analysis but this was no longer significant after adjustment. A non-significant reduced risk of any AMD or late AMD only was observed in association with brown compared to blue iris color, in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Conclusions. RVC was not significantly associated with iris color or early/late AMD after adjustment for confounders. A lower but non-significant AMD risk was observed in those with brown compared to blue iris color.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-387
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Volume56
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015

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