Higher prevalence of diabetes in patients with type 2 macular telangiectasia in Puerto Rico

The cohort evaluated in the study showed a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes in patients with type 2 macular telangiectasia.

One eye had evidence of choroidal neovascularization, the study details. Photo: Case Report.

Macular telangiectasia is a disease that affects the macula, causing loss of central vision. It develops when there are problems with the small blood vessels around the fovea, the center of the macula, which gives us our sharpest central vision for activities like reading.

There are two types of macular telangiectasia, and each affects the blood vessels differently.

In type 2 macular telangiectasia, the small blood vessels that surround the fovea become abnormal and may dilate (widen). Type 2 affects both eyes, but not necessarily with the same severity.

Meanwhile, in type 1 macular telangiectasia, the blood vessels dilate and form small aneurysms, which leak and cause swelling. This is called macular edema and it damages the macular cells. The disease almost always occurs in one eye, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

For this reason, health professionals from Puerto Rico undertook the task of describing the associations of systemic diseases and the clinical characteristics in the initial presentation of a cohort of patients with type 2 macular telangiectasia living in Puerto Rico.

Attached to the Medical Sciences Campus, the team conducted a retrospective review of patients with macular telangiectasia in four private retina clinics in Puerto Rico. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded.

The results of the study detail that some 21 patients who were diagnosed with macular telangiectasia were included in the analysis. The median age of presentation was 62 years. 86% were women and all patients were Hispanic.

In the sample, it was found that 71.4% of these patients had type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension in 57.1% and dyslipidemia in 42.9%. The most common ocular findings were the presence of vessels at right angles, 76.2% eyes, and angiographic hyperfluorescence temporal to the fovea, found in 52.4% of affected eyes. One eye had evidence of choroidal neovascularizationdetails the study.

The cohort evaluated in the study showed a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes in patients with type 2 macular telangiectasia, compared to other patient cohorts, the authors state.

It also supports the findings of other studies showing that patients with macular telangiectasia are more likely to have type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia, although the study stresses that the prevalence of diabetes and hyperlipidemia may be due to selection bias and more studies are needed to assess the significance of these findings.

Access the study here.

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