Association of consumption of dairy products and meat with retinal vessel calibers in subjects at increased cardiovascular risk.Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2016; 26(8):752-7NM
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
Association of dairy products and meat consumption with macrocirculation is previously described, but such association with microcirculation is poorly investigated. We aimed to test the hypothesis that the consumption of high- and low-fat dairy products as well as red, white, and processed meat is associated with retinal vessel calibers in adults at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
METHODS AND RESULTS
In consecutive subjects (n = 181, age: 51.3 ± 12.4 years, 51.4% women) without CVD and diabetes mellitus but with increased CVD risk, we obtained digital left and right retinal images. These images were assessed with validated software to determine central retinal arteriolar and venular equivalents and the arteriolar to venular ratio (CRAE, CRVE, and AVR, respectively). The consumption of dairy products and meat was assessed through 24-h recalls in all volunteers. After adjustment for potential confounders, the following findings were obtained: (i) low-fat milk and yogurt were positively associated with CRAE (b=0.145, p=0.031 left; b=0.141, p=0.038 right) and inversely associated with CRVE (b=-0.155, p=0.026 left; b=-0.146, p=0.041 right); (ii) low-fat cheese was positively associated with CRAE (b=0.164, p=0.011 left and b=0.155, p=0.017 right); and (iii) red meat was inversely associated with CRAE (b=-0.143, p=0.032 left; b=-0.114, p=0.050 right). High-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese or white and processed meat were not found to be associated with retinal vessel calibers.
High consumption of low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese and low consumption of red meat could be beneficial for retinal microvascular health. Prospective studies are needed to verify these findings.