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Macular Degeneration Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke Risk

Researchers have discovered a possible association between a particular form of macular degeneration and a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.

Patients with age-related macular degeneration with subretinal drusenoid deposits are at a higher risk of

developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke according to findings from a study conducted at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. The study was published in the July issue of Retina.

There are two forms of dry age-related macular degeneration: drusen and subretinal drusenoid deposits (SDD). Subretinal drusenoid deposits macular degeneration is not as common and requires high-tech retinal imaging to diagnose. These drusenoid form in a layer beneath the retinal cells.

The research team examined 126 macular degeneration patients using Optical Coherence Topography (OCT) and also compiled completed questionnaires from the patients. The questionnaires reviewed heart disease, stroke and overall health history.

Researchers discovered that 62 patients had SDD while 64 had drusen. Forty-percent of the 126 patients had cardiovascular disease or a past stroke and of those forty-percent with that history, sixty-six percent had SDD. Breaking it down, the study participants who had cardiovascular disease or stroke history were three times more likely to have SDD.

It is believed that poor circulation to the eyes, which causes SDD, could be a result of underlying vascular issues in the patient. Ophthalmologists are encouraged to refer patients who are diagnosed with SDD to a cardiologist for evaluation. As is often the case, macular degeneration and other eye conditions can be a red flag pointing to other underlying health conditions. A comprehensive, yearly eye exam is an important part of maintaining overall good health. VisiVite AREDS 2supplements can be a part of your eye health regimen if you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or if you are looking to help maintain eye health.

 

 

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