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Serum vaspin a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy in T2DM patients

01 Sep 2020
Despite being the most preventable diabetes-related complication, Malaysia’s diabetic retinopathy rates are sky high

High serum vaspin correlates with a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and vision-threatening DR (VTDR) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), finds a new study.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional, single-centre, observational investigation of 372 T2DM patients (median age, 53 years; 44.4 percent female) who underwent ocular examination for DR. Fasting blood samples were collected and subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the measurement of vaspin levels.

The median serum vaspin concentration in the cohort was 1.50 ng/mL. Participants were grouped according to quartiles of vaspin, which showed that those in the highest category were more likely women and more likely to have hypertension. DR and VTDR were also more prevalent in the top vaspin quartile.

More than a quarter (27.4 percent; n=102) of the participants developed DR, and this group had a higher median vaspin concentration than those without (2.07 vs 1.29 ng/mL; p<0.001).

Multivariable regression analysis confirmed that the odds of developing DR was almost twofold higher in those with high vaspin, even after adjusting for sex, glycated haemoglobin, and disease duration, among other confounders (odds ratio [OR], 1.85, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.43–2.55; p<0.001).

A similar interaction was found between serum vaspin and VTDR. The 40 patients who developed VTDR had significantly elevated median vaspin levels (2.67 vs 1.31 ng/mL; p<0.001); hence, vaspin emerged as a strong and significant risk factor for VTDR (OR, 3.76, 95 percent CI, 2.05–6.55; p<0.001).

In receiver operating characteristic analysis, vaspin was found to be a better predictor of VTDR than DR, with area under the curve values of 0.69 and 0.87, respectively, at the corresponding cut-off values of 2.22 and 2.03 ng/mL.

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