To determine whether the severity of retinopathy is higher in a group of NIDDM patients with sBP ≥ 140 mmHg compared with NIDDM patients with sBP < 140 mmHg.
Ophthalmoscopy and FAG were conducted among a group of NIDDM patients with either a sBP above (n = 54) or below (n = 55) 140 mmHg. The groups were matched according to diabetes duration, metabolic control (HbA1c), and AER.
Patients with sBP > 140 mmHg had a higher prevalence of retinopathy, as established according to a rating scale (4.9 ± 3.8 vs. 3.2 ± 3.3, P < 0.02); furthermore, their BMI values were higher (28.1 ± 4.5 vs. 24.9 ± 4.1 kg/m2, P < 0.001). The group of normotensive subjects showed the highest rate of low grading (0–2) values. However, the highest prevalence rates of 8–10 grading values (proliferative retinopathy) were found in the hypertensive group.
These data suggest that sBP values ≥ 140 mmHg favor the onset of retinopathy in NIDDM patients during their 1st 10 yr of disease.