Methods: This was a cohort study of diabetic participants with serum collected at baseline and routinely collected diabetic retinal screening data. Participants with type 2 diabetes from the GoDARTS (Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland) cohort were used. This cohort is composed of individuals of white Scottish ancestry from the Tayside region of Scotland. Survival analysis accounting for informative censoring by modelling death as a competing risk was performed for the development of incident diabetic retinopathy from a disease-free state in a 3 year follow-up period (n = 1364) by stratified LpPLA2 activity levels (in quartiles). The same analysis was performed for transitions to more severe grades.
Results: The hazard of developing incident diabetic retinopathy was 2.08 times higher (95% CI 1.64, 2.63) for the highest quartile of Lp-PLA2 activity compared with the lowest. Higher Lp-PLA2 activity levels were associated with a significantly increased risk for transitions to all grades. The hazards of developing observable (or more severe) and referable (or more severe) retinopathy were 2.82 (95% CI 1.71, 4.65) and 1.87 (95% CI 1.26, 2.77) times higher for the highest quartile of Lp-PLA2 activity compared with the lowest, respectively.
Conclusions/interpretation: Higher Lp-PLA2 levels are associated with increased risk of death and the development of incident diabetic retinopathy, as well as transitions to more severe grades of diabetic retinopathy. These associations are independent of calculated LDL-cholesterol and other traditional risk factors. Further, this biomarker study shows that the association is temporally sensitive to the proximity of the event to measurement of Lp-PLA2.
- Diabetic complications
- Electronic medical records
- Microvascular disease