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Diagonal ear lobe crease in diabetic south Indian population: Is it associated with Diabetic Retinopathy?. Sankara Nethralaya Diabetic Retinopathy Epidemiology And Molecular-genetics Study (SN-DREAMS, Report no. 3)

Author(s): Raman Rajiv | Rani Padmaja | Kulothungan Vaitheeswaran | Sharma Tarun

Journal: BMC Ophthalmology
ISSN 1471-2415

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background To report the prevalence of ear lobe crease (ELC), a sign of coronary heart disease, in subjects (more than 40 years old) with diabetes and find its association with diabetic retinopathy. Methods Subjects were recruited from the Sankara Nethralaya Diabetic Retinopathy Epidemiology And Molecular-genetics Study (SN-DREAMS), a cross-sectional study between 2003 and 2006; the data were analyzed for the1414 eligible subjects with diabetes. All patients' fundi were photographed using 45° four-field stereoscopic digital photography. The diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy was based on the modified Klein classification. The presence of ELC was evaluated on physical examination. Results The prevalence of ELC, among the subjects with diabetes, was 59.7%. The ELC group were older, had longer duration of diabetes, had poor glycemic control and had a high socio-economic status compared to the group without ELC and the variables were statistically significant. There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in two groups. On multivariate analysis for any diabetic retinopathy, the adjusted OR for women was 0.69 (95% CI 0.51-0.93) (p = 0.014); for age >70 years, 0.49 (95% CI 0.26-0.89) (p = 0.024); for increasing duration of diabetes (per year increase), 1.11(95% CI 1.09-1.14) (p < 0.0001); and for poor glycemic control (per unit increase in glycosylated heamoglobin), 1.26 (95% CI 1.19-1.35) (p < 0.0001). For sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, no variable was significant on multivariable analysis. In predicting any diabetic retinopathy, the presence of ELC had sensitivity of 60.4%, and specificity, 40.5%. The area under the ROC curve was 0.50 (95% CI 0.46-0.54) (p 0.02). Conclusion The ELC was observed in nearly 60% of the urban south Indian population. However, the present study does not support the use of ELC as a screening tool for both any diabetic retinopathy and sight-threatening retinopathy.
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