A health condition known as xanthelasma (xanthelasma palpebrarum), a sharply demarcated yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids, has been linked to heart disease. These yellow formations occur in the upper or lower eyelid near the inner corner of the eye.
The study findings were published in the British Medical Journal.
The link between heart disease and xanthelasma
Both men and women can suffer from this condition, especially after 40. These yellow growths are the result of cholesterol deposits and indicate a higher level of cholesterol in almost half of the patients affected with this condition.
These growths are soft and painless and do not affect vision. In fact, people with xanthelasma usually seek medical help because these growths are unattractive. Aesthetics is the main reason why people decide to remove them, without considering them as a warning of a more serious condition, and despite their re-emergence after removal.
A recent Danish research confirmed the connection between heart disease and xanthelasma. Professor Tibjaerg Hansen who led the team, came to conclusions that will change the way we see these seemingly harmless growths, which are ignored as irrelevant by both patients and doctors.
Men affected with xanthelasma are at a 12% higher risk of heart attack. Men aged 70-79 are at an even higher risk.
Women with xanthelasma have an 8% higher risk of heart attack, as opposed to those who are not affected.
It has been poved that women have a lower risk of heart disease, and researchers in this study explain that in this particular group of patients, xanthelasma allows accurate prediction of heart disease.
The research concluded that xanthelasma may indicate a heart attack, severe atherosclerosis, heart disease and death, independent of other factors such as high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
The presence of xanthelasma cases in each age group indicates an increased probability of heart disease, heart attack and death. Both men and women who have these yellow growths on their eyelids are likely to experience a heart attack, and maybe they will even be life threatened in a 10-year period.
It has been proven that men are more prone to heart disease.
If these yellow growths appear on your eyelids, it is important for you to immediately check your cholesterol levels.