Our objective was to determine associations between retinal vascular caliber and physical activity (PA) in a school-based child cohort. In a prospective study we created a childhood cumulative average PA-index using objectively measured PA (accelerometry) assessed at four periods between 2009 and 2015. Cumulative exposure to PA intensities was estimated. Cross-sectional examinations on biomarkers, anthropometry and ophthalmological data including retinal fundus photographs were performed in 2015. Semi-automated measurements of retinal vascular diameters were performed and summarized into central retinal arteriolar and venular equivalents (CRAE, CRVE). We included 307 participants. Mean age in 2015 was 15.4 years (0.7). The mean CRAE and CRVE were 156.5 μm (2.8) and 217.6 μm (7.7), respectively. After adjusting for age, gender and axial length, more time in PA was independently related to thinner retinal venules (β-coefficient = -1,25 μm/%, 95% confidence interval = -2.20,-0.30, p<0.01). Sedentary time was associated with wider venules (p<0.01). Furthermore, birthweight (β-coefficient = 0.56 μm/%, 95% confidence interval = 0.18,0.95, p<0.01) was associated with CRVE. Blood pressure was associated with thinner retinal arterioles (β-coefficient = -0.19 μm /mmHg, 95% confidence interval = -0.36,-0.01, p=0.04). We concluded that children with higher PA in childhood had thinner retinal venular caliber. Our results suggest that PA during childhood positively impacts the retinal microcirculation and that retinal vascular analysis may be a possible assessment to detect microvascular impairments in children with an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease.
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports|
|Early online date||27 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||Early online date - 27 Apr 2018|