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ISSN: 2155-6156

Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism
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Research Article

The Diabetic Eye: A Window to the Heart & Vascular System

Caroline J. Magri1* and Stephen Fava2

1Department of Cardiac Services, Mater Dei Hospital, Tal-Qroqq, Msida MSD2090, Malta

2Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, Department of Internal Medicine, Mater Dei Hospital, Tal-Qroqq, Msida MSD2090, Malta

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. Caroline J. Magri
Department of Cardiac Services
Mater Dei Hospital, Jesmel
Imdina Road, Zebbug, ZBG05, Malta
Tel: (+356) 79258763/(+356) 79847431
Fax: (+356) 25454154
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date July 11, 2011; Accepted date August 14, 2012; Published date August 20, 2012

Citation: Magri CJ, Fava S (2012) The Diabetic Eye: A Window to the Heart & Vascular System. J Diabetes Metab S3:008. doi:10.4172/2155-6156.S3-008

Copyright: © 2012 Magri CJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus that could potentially lead to blindness. There is growing interest in the association between this important microvascular complication and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In this review article, the authors analyse the currently available data that link diabetic retinopathy with cardiovascular events in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients, including its association with coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease and cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Important retinal signs that suggest underlying cardiovascular disease are discussed together with possible underlying pathophysiological  mechanisms. The clinical implications involved are considered together with future studies. The latter should address not only possible pathological mechanisms, including genetic contribution, but also the implementation of diabetic retinopathy assessment as a risk stratification tool as well as novel therapeutic agents that might be beneficial both in the management of diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular disease in general.

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