A easy eye examination can predict a coronary heart assault, examine says

A pre-published study found that analyzing retinal blood vessels can help identify heart attack risk.

youa method that could be revolutionary. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh conducted a study to establish whether a non-invasive retinal exam may be of interest in assessing the risk of infarction. The results of this research have not yet been published in a scientific journal, but were presented at the annual conference of the European Society for Human Genetics in Vienna on 13 June.

To carry out this large-scale study, the team collected retinal fundus images and genotyping information from approximately 38,000 white British participants from the UK Biobank. This biobank developed in 2006 collected data from 500,000 volunteers in the UK aged between 40 and 69 years.

For simple screening

By calculating a measure called the “fractal dimension,” the researchers were able to study the “branching patterns of the retinal vasculature,” says Ana Villaplana-Velasco, the study’s lead author, in The Guardian. The study authors found a common genetic basis between fractal dimension and myocardial infarction.

This fractal dimension was combined with other factors such as age, sex, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and smoke. The study reveals that the model would be able to “better rank participants at low or high risk of heart attack in the UK Biobank, compared to established models that only include demographic data.” The risk of heart attack can therefore be evaluated more than five years before the start.

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Additional work needs to be done to determine how these results can be incorporated into routine clinical practice. Ultimately, if a simple retinal exam is enough to identify people at risk, they can be more tracked and encouraged to follow behaviors that aim to reduce these risks. Furthermore, according to the team behind the study, other diseases may have “a unique profile of retinal variation” and these results could potentially apply to other pathologies.

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