Friday, March 23, 2012

Cholesterol Deposits Around Eyes Linked to Heart Risk

(HealthDay News) -- Men and women who develop visible deposits of cholesterol in the skin around their eyelids appear to face a higher risk of heart disease in general and suffering a heart attack in particular, new Danish research suggests.

The link between the skin condition and heart disease, however, is characterized as an association, rather than a clear case of "cause and effect."

Nonetheless, the study team led by Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, from the department of clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said that the finding could perhaps help physicians screen for heart disease.

And the research, published in the Sept. 15 online edition of the BMJ, "could be of particular value in societies where access to laboratory facilities and thus lipid profile measurement is difficult," the authors said in a journal news release.

Individuals who have the raised yellow patches around the eyes that indicate the collection of cholesterol in the skin -- known as "xanthelasmata" -- are not always easily identified in blood tests as having high cholesterol, the study authors noted. Read more...

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