Study shows why hypertension increases damage to eyes of diabetic patients

Hypertension frequently coexists in patients with diabetes. A new University of Georgia study shows why the co-morbid conditions can result in impaired vision.

"Results showed early signals of cell death in eyes from diabetic animals within the first six weeks of elevated blood pressure. Later, the tiny blood vessels around the that nourish the retina and affect visual processing showed signs of decay as early as 10 weeks after diabetic animals develop hypertension," said Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the UGA College of Pharmacy and director of the UGA clinical and experimental therapeutics program.

The study examined animals with early and established stages of diabetes that also had hypertension. The results, which highlight the importance of tight and to delay diabetes-related , were published in the June issue of the Journal of Molecular Vision. The study was the first to understand or explain why combining increased blood pressure with diabetes would hurt blood vessels in the eye.

"The fact that controlling blood pressure in diabetic patients is beneficial has been shown through many major clinical trials," said Islam Mohamed, a third-year clinical and experimental therapeutics graduate student who co-authored the paper with El-Remessy. "Our study highlights the synergistic and immediate interaction between systemic hypertension and diabetes as two independent risk factors for persistent retina damage known as retinopathy. This emphasizes the importance of addressing different in a holistic approach for improving management and prevention of retinopathy."

According to the , 45 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, hypertension or high levels of cholesterol in the blood called . Approximately 13 percent of U.S. adults suffer from a combination of two of the conditions, and 3 percent have all three.

Early intervention is a key factor in improving the outcome for patients.

"Health care providers, including pharmacists, should stress the importance of the tight control of blood sugar and blood pressure levels for their patients," El-Remessy said. "Providing patient education and counseling on how each of these metabolic problems independently can have accelerated devastating effects is critical and can result in better prevention and outcomes for the patients."

More information: The entire journal article is available online at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic… 3380918/?tool=pubmed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Added fructose is a principal driver of type 2 diabetes

13 hours ago

Recent studies have shown that added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates. Clinical experts writing in Mayo Clinic Proceedings challe ...

Support found for peer-mentoring diabetes management program

14 hours ago

Managing type 1 diabetes is a never-ending task that requires multiple blood glucose tests, carbohydrate calculations and insulin injections or infusions. This constant effort to control the disease is daunting at any age ...

How does DPP-4 inhibition affect liver function?

Jan 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibition may attenuate hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance induced by the Western diet (WD) through hepatic lipid remodeling and modulation of hepatic mitochondrial ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.