Retinal Vascular Measures from Diabetes Retinal Screening Photographs and Risk of Incident Dementia in Type 2 Diabetes: A GoDARTS Study

Alexander S. F. Doney (Lead / Corresponding author), Aditya Nar, Yu Huang, Emanuele Trucco, Tom MacGillivray, Peter Connelly, Graham P. Leese, Gareth J. McKay, INSPIRED consortium

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Abstract

Objective: Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of dementia. Improved prediction of dementia is an important goal in developing future prevention strategies. Diabetic retinopathy screening (DRS) photographs may be a convenient source of imaging biomarkers of brain health. We therefore investigated the association of retinal vascular measures (RVMs) from DRS photographs in patients with type 2 diabetes with dementia risk.

Research Design and Methods: RVMs were obtained from 6,111 patients in the GoDARTS bioresource (635 incident cases) using VAMPIRE software. Their association, independent of Apo E4 genotype and clinical parameters, was determined for incident all cause dementia (ACD) and separately Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VD). We used Cox’s proportional hazards with competing risk of death without dementia. The potential value of RVMs to increase the accuracy of risk prediction was evaluated.

Results: Increased retinal arteriolar fractal dimension associated with increased risk of ACD (csHR 1.17; 1.08–1.26) and AD (HR 1.33; 1.16–1.52), whereas increased venular fractal dimension (FDV) was associated with reduced risk of AD (csHR 0.85; 0.74–0.96). Conversely, FDV was associated with increased risk of VD (csHR 1.22; 1.07–1.40). Wider arteriolar calibre was associated with a reduced risk of ACD (csHR 0.9; 0.83–0.98) and wider venular calibre was associated with a reduced risk of AD (csHR 0.87; 0.78–0.97). Accounting for competing risk did not substantially alter these findings. RVMs significantly increased the accuracy of prediction.

Conclusions: Conventional DRS photographs could enhance stratifying patients with diabetes at increased risk of dementia facilitating the development of future prevention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number945276
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Digital Health: Personalized Medicine
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • retinal biomarkers
  • dementia risk prediction
  • VAMPIRE retinal image software
  • diabetes
  • dementia

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