Are peripheral blood monocyte levels linked to diabetic retinopathy?

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There may be a link between decreased peripheral blood monocyte levels increased odds of developing diabetic retinopathy, according to a new study.

In this cross-sectional survey, data from 3223 patients with diabetes, including the measurement of anthropometric factors, blood pressure, routinely analyzed leukocyte characteristics, glucose, lipid profiles, urine albumin/creatinine ratio, and fundus photographs, were collected

In patients in the highest quartile of peripheral blood monocyte levels, the frequency of diabetic retinopathy significantly decreased by 41% compared with the participants in the first quartile. No associations between leukocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte levels and diabetic retinopathy were found.

The authors noted that causation has not yet been demonstrated.


Wan H, Cai Y, Wang Y, et al. The unique association between the level of peripheral blood monocytes and the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy: a cross-sectional study. J Transl Med. 2020;18:248. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02422-9

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