Relation of corneal arcus to cardiovascular disease (from the Framingham Heart Study data set).
Corneal arcus is a lipid-rich deposit at the corneoscleral limbus that shares some similarities with the lipid deposition of atherosclerosis. Epidemiologic studies examining the association between corneal arcus and coronary artery disease (CAD) have yielded mixed results. This study was conducted to determine if corneal arcus is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CAD. A prospective analysis was performed using Cox proportional-hazards regression models in the Framingham Heart Study Original Cohort and Offspring Cohort database. This cohort included 23,376 patient-examinations, during 3,890 (17%) of which corneal arcus was identified. Corneal arcus was a predictor of CVD and CAD at 4 years (hazard ratios [HRs] 2.28 and 1.99, respectively) and 8 years (HRs 2.52 and 2.35, respectively) of follow-up (p <0.0001 for all). Corneal arcus was no longer predictive of either CVD or CAD, however, after adjustment for age and gender at 4 years (HRs 1.07 and 1.01, respectively) and 8 years (HRs 1.18 and 1.17, respectively) of follow-up (p >0.05 for all). In conclusion, corneal arcus predicted CVD and CAD in the community-based Framingham Heart Study cohort because of the strong association of corneal arcus with increasing age. To date, this is the largest and lengthiest population-based cohort study examining the direct association between corneal arcus and CVD and CAD.
Fernandez, AB; Keyes, MJ; Pencina, M; D'Agostino, R; O'Donnell, CJ; Thompson, PD
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