Your eyes may be windows to predicting stroke risk

Washington, Aug 13 (ANI): Retinal imaging may someday help assess if you're more likely to develop a stroke, a new research by an Indian origin author has revealed.

Mohammad Kamran Ikram, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Singapore Eye Research Institute, the Department of Ophthalmology and Memory Aging and Cognition Centre, at the National University of Singapore, and his team tracked stroke occurrence for an average 13 years in 2,907 patients with high blood pressure who had not previously experienced a stroke.

At baseline, each had photographs taken of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eyeball. Damage to the retinal blood vessels attributed to hypertension evident on the photographs was scored as none, mild or moderate/severe.

During the follow-up, 146 participants experienced a stroke caused by a blood clot and 15 by bleeding in the brain.

Researchers adjusted for several stroke risk factors such as age, sex, race, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, body mass index, smoking and blood pressure readings.

They found the risk of stroke was 35 percent higher in those with mild hypertensive retinopathy and 137 percent higher in those with moderate or severe hypertensive retinopathy.

Even in patients on medication and achieving good blood pressure control, the risk of a blood clot was 96 percent higher in those with mild hypertensive retinopathy and 198 percent higher in those with moderate or severe hypertensive retinopathy.

The study is published in the American Heart Association journal. (ANI)

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