Association between myopia and diabetic retinopathy: a review of observational findings and potential mechanisms

Authors

  • Ryan EK Man BSc,

    1. Centre for Eye Research Australia, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
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  • Muhammad B Sasongko MEpi,

    1. Centre for Eye Research Australia, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
    2. Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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  • Jie Jin Wang PhD,

    1. Centre for Eye Research Australia, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
    2. Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millenium Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Ecosse L Lamoureux PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Singapore Eye Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    • Centre for Eye Research Australia, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
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  • Competing/conflicts of interest: No stated conflict of interest.
  • Funding sources: The Centre for Eye Research Australia receives Operational Infrastructure Support from the Victorian Government.

Correspondence: A/Prof Ecosse L Lamoureux, Centre for Eye Research Australia, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne, 32 Gibson Street, East Melbourne, Vic. 3002, Australia. Email: ecosse@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

A protective, but inconsistent association between myopia and a decreased risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) has been suggested in several studies. However, it is unclear whether the structural, or the refractive components of myopia; or both, is the main contributor to this protective relationship. This paper provides a comprehensive review of existing evidence on the association between myopia, and its structural (axial length [AL], anterior chamber depth [ACD]) and refractive (lens biometry and corneal curvature [CC]) components, with DR. 11 studies consisting of 7230 subjects from 1960 to April 2012, were reviewed. A longer AL was the only variable associated with a lower risk and severity of DR. Therefore, the available evidence suggests that AL is the main contributor to the protective influence of myopia on DR observed in earlier studies. Further investigations are now needed to determine the mechanisms by which AL protects against DR.

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