Eye vessel changes "indicate heart disease"

Eye vessel changes "indicate heart disease"

Changes to the shape of the retinal arterioles - vessels in the eyes - may be an indication that older people are at risk of a cardiovascular disease caused by air pollution, a new study has suggested.

Researchers led by Sara Adar at the University of Washington and the University of Michigan found that even those exposed to short-term pollution are more likely to experience these microvascular changes.

According to the specialists, this sign may potentially serve as a warning which can help medical professionals to act early and prevent the development or worsening of cardiovascular disease.

The authors stated: "These findings support the hypothesis that important vascular phenomena are associated with air pollution and the development and exacerbation of clinical cardiovascular disease."

In other research, a multinational collaboration between Regensburg"s Institute of Human Genetics in St Louis, Genomatix and other partners recently identified a new transcription factor scan which identifies the genetic cause of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited eye disorder that causes blindness.

by Emily Tait

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