Aim: To clarify the association of several clinical parameters, including plasma fibrinogen level, with diabetic retinopathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods: A total of 294 Japanese patients with Type 2DM were studied; 53 patients with no diabetic retinopathy (NDR), 90 with background diabetic retinopathy (BDR), and 151 with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to assess variables independently associated with diabetic retinopathy in two settings: presence of retinopathy of any severity and presence of advanced retinopathy.
Results: The following parameters were identified as independent factors associated with the presence of diabetic retinopathy (NDR vs. BDR + PDR): type of therapy (P<0.0005), log-transformed plasma fibrinogen level (P < 0.05), mean blood pressure (P < 0.05), and duration of diabetes (P < 0.05). The independent variables associated with advanced retinopathy were type of therapy (P<0.00005), age (P<0.0005) and nephropathy (P<0.05). Body mass index, smoking and hypertensive status, HbA1c and total cholesterol levels were not independently associated.
Conclusions: These data suggest that in patients with Type 2 DM, an increased blood viscosity due to high fibrinogen level as well as an elevated intravessel pressure play a role in the development of diabetic retinopathy, and that the progression to PDR is influenced or accompanied by the deterioration of renal status.