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Your Eyes May Help Diagnose Heart Disease and Stroke
Date:10/2/2009

For centuries eyes have been seen as windows to the soul. But medical researchers now believe the eyes may also offer vital clues to your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sydney, NSW (PRWEB) October 2, 2009 -- For centuries eyes have been seen as windows to the soul. But medical researchers now believe the eyes may also offer vital clues to your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Importantly, this research could lead to optometrists and ophthalmologists playing a key diagnostic role in identifying signs of life threatening health problems.

Researchers at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) are seeking to confirm that blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye reflect changes in blood vessels in other parts of the body, especially the brain, kidneys and heart.

A project funded by the MBF Foundation, a charitable institution set up by MBF Health Insurance, is showing that blood vessels in the retina can be photographed and the images analysed by a computer to accurately determine a person's risk of heart attack or stroke - cardiovascular diseases that change the appearance of blood vessels in the eye.

Lead CERA researcher, Professor Tien Wong, said they aim to show that combining this non-invasive retinal scan with the results from current risk assessment methods will improve precision and reliability in predicting heart disease.

Professor Wong's team has taken thousands of eye images and created a program that recognises common features of conditions that cause damage to be seen on the retina.

Once a person has symptoms of cardiovascular disease, damage has already been done to the body. So finding and treating high risk people early, even before they have symptoms, could minimise blood vessel damage and potentially avo
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