(HealthDay News) – For patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) are associated with an increased risk of clinically significant macular edema (CSME) and with the development of retinal hard exudates, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

In a large multicenter randomized trial (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial [DCCT]), Rajeev H. Muni, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues examined whether baseline hsCRP and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) levels predict the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy, CSME, and retinal hard exudates. The study population included 1,441 subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

After adjustment for randomized treatment assignment and additional variables, the researchers identified an association between hsCRP and the risk of CSME (relative risk, 1.83 for highest vs. lowest quintile; 95%  confidence interval [CI], 0.94–3.55) and for the development of retinal hard exudates (relative risk, 1.78 for highest vs. lowest quintile; 95% CI, 0.98–3.25). For ICAM-1, the relative risk of developing retinal hard exudates was 1.5 for the highest vs. lowest quintile (95% CI, 0.84–2.68).

“After adjusting for known risk factors, increasing quintiles of baseline hsCRP level may be associated with higher risk of incident CSME and macular hard exudate in the DCCT cohort,” the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)