Recent research has identified how to predict who is at risk of heart attack. Through a simple eye test, the researchers were able to predict the risk about 5 years earlier
According to one study, a simple non-invasive eye examination may be able to predict the risk of heart attack.
The researchers found that combining information about the blood vessel pattern in the retina with traditional clinical factors enabled them to better identify the risk of a heart attack.
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The researchers used data from the British Biobank, which contains the health and lifestyle records of 500,000 people, to calculate a measure called the fractal size.
They then combined it with other factors such as age, gender, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and smoking status.
In this way they were able to better classify participants with risk of heart attack low or high, as the retina allows you to directly view blood vessels and assess vascular health.
The median age for a heart attack is 60, and they found that their model achieved its best predictive performance more than five years before the episode occurred.
They hope that, in the future, a simple retinal examination will provide enough information to identify the people most at risk to help patients take preventative measures.
Obviously, more research is needed to prove the validity of this method. It will also be necessary to work to understand the feasibility of this approach, and to determine how best to incorporate these scans into routine clinical practice.
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Source: The European Society of Human Genetics
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