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Background: Amblyopia is a common neurodevelopmental condition and leading cause of childhood visual impairment. Given the known association between neurodevelopmental impairment and cardiometabolic dysfunction in later life, we investigated whether children with amblyopia have increased risk of cardiometabolic disorders in adult life. Methods: This was a cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of 126,399 United Kingdom Biobank cohort participants who underwent ocular examination. A subset of 67,321 of these received retinal imaging. Data analysis was conducted between November 1st 2021 and October 15th 2022. Our primary objective was to investigate the association between amblyopia and a number of components of metabolic syndrome and individual cardiometabolic diseases. Childhood amblyopia, dichotomised as resolved or persisting by adulthood, cardiometabolic disease and mortality were defined using ophthalmic assessment, self-reported, hospital admissions and death records. Morphological features of the optic nerve and retinal vasculature and sublayers were extracted from retinal photography and optical coherence tomography. Associations between amblyopia and cardiometabolic disorders as well as retinal markers were investigated in multivariable-adjusted regression models. Findings: Individuals with persisting amblyopia (n = 2647) were more likely to be obese (adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.16 (1.05; 1.28)), hypertensive (1.25 (1.13; 1.38)) and diabetic (1.29 (1.04; 1.59)) than individuals without amblyopia (controls, (n = 18,481)). Amblyopia was also associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.38 (1.11; 1.72)) and death (1.36 (1.15; 1.60)). On retinal imaging, amblyopic eyes had significantly increased venular caliber (0.29 units (0.21; 0.36)), increased tortuosity (0.11 units (0.03; 0.19)), but lower fractal dimension (−0.23 units (−0.30; −0.16)) and thinner ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (mGC-IPL, −2.85 microns (−3.47; −2.22)). Unaffected fellow eyes of individuals with amblyopia also had significantly lower retinal fractal dimension (−0.08 units (−0.15; −0.01)) and thinner mGC-IPL (−1.14 microns (−1.74; −0.54)). Amblyopic eyes with a persisting visual deficit had smaller optic nerve disc height (−0.17 units (−0.25; −0.08)) and width (−0.13 units (−0.21; −0.04)) compared to control eyes. Interpretation: Although further research is needed to understand the basis of the observed associations, healthcare professionals should be cognisant of greater cardiometabolic dysfunction in adults who had childhood amblyopia. Differences in retinal features in both the amblyopic eye and the unaffected non-amblyopic suggest generalised versus local processes. Funding: Medical Research Council (MR/T000953/1) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

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