Retinal microvascular abnormalities and renal dysfunction: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Tien Yin Wong, Josef Coresh, Ronald Klein, Paul Muntner, David J. Couper, A. Richey Sharrett, Barbara E.K. Klein, Gerardo Heiss, Larry D. Hubbard, Bruce B. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Microvascular disease has been linked with renal dysfunction in patients with diabetes. The aim of this study was to examine the association of retinal microvascular abnormalities to renal dysfunction among participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, a population-based investigation in four U.S. communities. At the third examination (1993 to 1995), retinal photography was performed and the presence of retinal microvascular abnormalities was documented using a standard grading protocol. Renal dysfunction was defined as an increase in serum creatinine of at least 0.4 mg/dl or a death or hospitalization as a result of chronic kidney disease between the second (1990 to 1992) and fourth (1996 to 1998) examinations. Among 10,056 people who were included in the study, 270 (2.7%) developed renal dysfunction. After controlling for age, gender, race, diabetes, BP, and other risk factors, individuals with retinopathy (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 2.8), microaneurysms (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3 to 3.1), retinal hemorrhages (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.6 to 4.0), soft exudates (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.6 to 4.8), and arteriovenous nicking (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0 to 1.9) were more likely to develop renal dysfunction than individuals without these abnormalities. Retinal microvascular abnormalities are associated with renal dysfunction, suggesting that common systemic microvascular processes may underlie the development of microvascular damage in the eye and kidneys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2469-2476
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Retinal microvascular abnormalities and renal dysfunction: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this