-- Alan Mozes
MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Could cholesterol deposits
on or around people's eyelids help doctors assess cardiovascular
A preliminary Danish study suggests that the deposits could
point to an increased risk for heart attack, arterial disease and
Half of patients with such deposits, a condition called
xanthelasmata, actually have normal cholesterol levels. The
research team therefore believes that buildup of cholesterol on the
eyelid is perhaps a marker for cardiac risk, regardless of a
patient's cholesterol profile.
"In societies where other cardiovascular disease risk factors can't be readily measured, presence of xanthelasmata may be a useful predictor of underlying atherosclerotic disease [hardening of the arteries]," the study authors said in an American Heart Association news release.
Led by Mette Christoffersen of Copenhagen University Hospital
and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the research team was
to present the findings Sunday at the AHA's annual meeting in
In their study, the team tracked the health of nearly 13,000
patients who were examined for the presence of such eyelid
The researchers found that those with the condition had a higher
rate of heart disease and heart attack as they got older, and a
poorer survival rate as compared with those who did not have the
Specifically, xanthelasmata was linked to a 51 percent bump in
the risk for a heart attack and a 40 percent rise in the risk for
ischemic heart disease. The risk for death rose by 17 percent among
Experts point out that research presented at meetings typically
does not go through the tougher scrutiny of studies published in
For more on cholesterol and heart disease risk, visit the
American Heart Association.
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