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In a random sample of 91 middle-aged men the retinal vascular pattern was quantitatively assessed by an unconventional method. Great variability of retinal vessels was found even between left and right eye in the same individual. Subjects having higher body mass and higher systolic blood pressure showed a tendency towards a greater average length of retinal vessels than ones with lower values. Among the variables the effect of increased systolic blood pressure proved to be significant for the elongation of retinal vessels.