HbA1c and Serum Level of VEGF in Diabetic Retinopathy Patients
Keywords:HbA1c levels; VEGF serum levels; diabetic retinopathy; HbA1c-VEGF correlation.
Objective: This study aims to determine whether HbA1c level has a correlation with vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF) serum level in diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients.
Methods: This is an analytical cross-sectional study of patients with DR due to type 2 diabetes, with a purposive
sampling technique. Patients were grouped into non-proliferative DR (NPDR) and proliferative DR (PDR). HbA1c
and VEGF serum levels were assessed by taking the patient’s venous blood.
Results: A total of 82 samples were included, in which the mean HbA1c levels were 8.17% ± 1.91% and the median
VEGF levels were 85.78 ng/L (range 38.23-149.43 ng/L). A total of 23 out of 35 NPDR patients were female (65.7%),
while 29 out of 47 PDR patients were male (61.7%). Approximately 61.7% of PDR patients had a DM duration of
more than 10 years, while 62.9% of NPDR patients had DM duration of less than 10 years. There was an increase
in the mean of HbA1c levels in the PDR group compared to NPDR, although it was not statistically significant (p =
0.214), and there was no difference in the median VEGF levels of the two groups. Spearman’s correlation analysis
revealed no correlation between HbA1 and VEGF levels in diabetic retinopathy, in both the NPDR and PDR
groups (correlation coefficient 0.183 and -0.022 respectively).
Conclusion: No statistically significant correlation was found between HbA1c and VEGF serum levels in diabetic
retinopathy patients. In this study poor glycemic control were not proven for their implications for VEGF
progression. VEGF serum levels may not be used as a marker of DR severity.
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