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Looking for heart disease? The eyes have it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The eyes may carry important early clues to heart disease, signaling damage to tiny blood vessels long before symptoms start to show elsewhere, researchers reported on Tuesday.
People with a type of eye damage known as retinopathy were more likely to die of heart disease over the next 12 years than those without it, according to the team at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne in Australia and the National University of Singapore.
They studied the retinal photographs of 3,000 people, most of whom had diabetes. Such snapshots are often taken to see if the diabetes has begun to damage the eyes. Then they checked records for deaths.
"Over 12 years, 353 participants (11.9 percent) had incident coronary heart disease-related deaths," the researchers reported in the journal Heart.
People with retinopathy were nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease as people without it, said the team, led by the University of Sydney's Gerald Liew.
Retinopathy raised the risk of heart disease as much as diabetes did, they found. Diabetes is a well known risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in most industrialized nations and many developing ones.
People with these changes may be getting a first warning that damage is occurring in their arteries, and work to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, the researchers said.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Retinopathy is a general term that refers to some form of non-inflammatory damage to the retina of the eye. Most commonly it is a problem with the blood supply that is the cause for this condition. Frequently, retinopathy is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease.
 Pathophysiology Main causes of retinopathy are :
diabetes - diabetic retinopathy
arterial hypertension - hypertensive retinopathy
prematurity of the newborn - retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
sickle cell anemia
direct sunlight exposure - solar retinopathy
medicinal products - drug-related retinopathy
retinal vein or artery occlusion
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