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Open Access Research article

Early lens aging is accelerated in subjects with a high risk of ischemic heart disease: an epidemiologic study

Line Kessel1*, Torben Jørgensen2, Charlotte Glümer23 and Michael Larsen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2 Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Copenhagen County, Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark

3 Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark

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BMC Ophthalmology 2006, 6:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-16

Published: 18 April 2006

Abstract

Background

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in the Western world. There is a relationship between aging of the lens of the human eye and cardiovascular disease. The present study was conducted to examine if the risk of ischemic heart disease could be estimated by fluorophotometric assessment of lens aging.

Methods

A total of 421 subjects were included. Risk of IHD was estimated from non-ocular data using the Precard ® software. Lens aging was quantified by lens fluorometry.

Results

The risk of IHD was strongly related to lens fluorophore accumulation (p = 0.001). The relationship between IHD and lens aging was attributable to tobacco smoking and dysglycemia.

Conclusion

The risk of ischemic heart disease related to smoking and diabetes mellitus can be estimated using the aging of the lens of the eye as a biomarker for generalized tissue-damage.