PURPOSE: To study the thickness of retinal arteriolar walls in a population-based cohort of adolescents.
METHODS: This cross-sectional, observational study included 1217 participants aged 16-17 years from the Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000 Study. The wall thickness and lumen diameter of a major branch retinal arteriole were measured using adaptive optics imaging. The wall-to-lumen ratio was analyzed in relation to blood pressure and body composition variables using a general linear model. Overall in the study population, wall-to-lumen ratio was found to decrease by 0.49% per μm increase in arteriole diameter (P < 0.0001) and all subsequent analyzes were adjusted accordingly.
RESULTS: The average outer and inner arteriole diameters were 117 ± 19 and 96.6 ± 18 μm (mean ± SD), corresponding to a wall-to-lumen ratio of 0.21 ± 0.024. There was no detectable difference between sexes. A higher wall-to-lumen ratio was associated with a higher BMI (+0.21% per kg/m, P = 0.0018), higher body fat percentage (+0.097% per 1% increase, P = 0.0052), wider hip circumference (+1.1% per 10 cm increase, P = 0.0006), wider waist circumference (+0.92% per 10 cm increase, P = 0.0009), higher SBP in girls (+1.1% per 10 mmHg increase, P = 0.0005), longer axial length (+0.70% per mm increase, P = 0.013), and younger age (+4.9% per year younger, P < 0.0001), adjusted for arteriole diameter, age, sex, and height.
CONCLUSION: A higher retinal arteriolar wall-to-lumen ratio was associated with all registered indices of body fat proportion.