In a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology, Paul D. Loprinzi, Ph.D., of the University of Mississippi, University, Miss., evaluated the association of sedentary behavior (SB) with diabetic retinopathy (DR) using data from the 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Sedentary behavior was assessed with an accelerometer, and measured during waking hours in participants with 4 or more days of at least 10 h/d of accelerometer wear time. Activity counts of less than 100/min were used to define SB; activity counts of 100/min or greater were classified as total physical activity (PA).
The analysis included 282 participants with diabetes. The average age was 62 years, 29 percent had mild or worse DR, and participants engaged in an average of 522 min/d of SB. The author found that for a 60-min/d increase in SB, participants had a 16 percent increased odds of having mild or worse DR; total PA was not associated with DR.
"The plausibility of this positive association between SB and DR may in part be a result of the increased cardiovascular disease risks associated with SB, which in turn may increase the risk of DR. This association does not prove a cause and effect of SB and increased chance of worsening DR. To know whether this observed association had a cause-and-effect relationship, interventional trials would be needed in which individuals were assigned randomly to increase PA and decreased prolonged SB had a decreased chance of worsening DR," the author writes.
The author has completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.