People with xanthelasmata — raised flat yellowish plaques on the eyelids composed mainly of cholesteryl esters — have increased risk for heart problems, according to a research published online in the British Medical Journal.
The study, led by Professor Anne Tybjærg-Hansen at the University of Copenhagen, followed nearly 13,000 Danish adults for an average of 22 years. At baseline, 4% had xanthelasmata, and 25% had arcus corneae (a white or gray opaque ring in the margin of the cornea).
After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, participants with xanthelasmata were significantly more likely to experience myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, severe atherosclerosis, or death compared with those without xanthelasmata. They were not, however, at increased risk for ischemic stroke or cerebrovascular disease.
Arcus corneae were not associated with cardiovascular outcomes.
The Zestzfulness Team strongly recommends that you see a medical doctor if you think you have signs of xanthelasmata, or arcus conreae (if you are below 40 years of age).
Mette Christoffersen, Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Peter Schnohr, Gorm B. Jensen, Børge G. Nordestgaard, Anne Tybjærg-Hansen. Xanthelasmata, arcus corneae, and ischaemic vascular disease and death in general population: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal, 2011; 343: d5497. Download the full article HERE
Arcus corneae may be found either as an age-related condition (arcus senilis) or in association with hyperlipoproteinemia types 2 and 3 and systemic lipid abnormalities in younger people.