The eyes offer clues about heart health

That the eyes can offer information about the health of the body and specifically about the heart, has already been previously demonstrated in several clinical studies. And the evidence continues to accumulate. Do you want to catch up? Discover more details about this topic and how to take care of your eyes and heart.

A look not only tells more than a thousand words, but it is capable of teaching what happens to the heart. And I do not mean anything more to the emotions that sometimes escape in tears or in that special glow that lovers have when looking at themselves, but to the health of that vital muscle that we all have in our chest. Therefore, at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology (2012) in Munich, Germany, the eyes were very important.

There were several studies presented on this topic. For example, a group of Greek scientists presented three studies that showed how the circulation of the retina can distinguish between potential patients whose risk of developing cardiovascular events is low in the short term but high for life, of those who are at low risk not only short but also long-term.

The first study involved 229 patients of 62 years of age on average, who had high blood pressure but had never received treatment, and detected a significant relationship between deterioration of the blood vessels of the retina and damage in what is called fraction of ejection (FE), which is a measure of the portion of blood that the heart pumps into the body during each beat (which is usually around 55-65%) and which, when abnormally low, is the most important factor to predict the risk of sudden cardiac death.

The second investigation involved 268 people aged 60 years on average, with  newly diagnosed high blood pressure , without treatment or history of diabetes or heart disease. In these patients a parallel increase was found between the alterations in the blood vessels of the retina and the rigidity of the arteries, measured by the pressure of the pulse.

Finally, a third study examined 202 patients aged 60 years on average, with a recent diagnosis of high blood pressure and without heart disease, and found a significant correlation between the degree of damage to the blood vessels of the retina and Metabolic syndrome, a group of disorders that includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance , excess fat around the waist  and high cholesterol .

These new findings are added to other previous studies that had already noted a possible relationship between the eyes and heart health, such as this one that we had already mentioned in Life and Health , according to which a group of specialists from the University of Copenhagen , in Denmark, managed to show that certain fatty plates on the eyelids (known as palpebral xanthelasmas) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and long-term death.

In addition to alerting us to what happens to the heart, the eyes can also show other health problems , such as diabetes, liver or thyroid diseases and systemic diseases such as HIV and cancer.

For all this, it is doubly important to take care of the health of your eyes, not only to see well but also to detect other possible problems in your body and, especially, in your heart.

Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including dietary care and an exercise routine at least five days a week, helps keep a strong heart for longer. For example:

  • Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Do at least thirty minutes of exercise a day, five to seven days a week.
  • Lose excess weight and stay at the weight recommended by the doctor.
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
  • If you are diabetic, keep sugar or blood glucose levels at bay.

If you add the use of the appropriate medications (if you need them), people with heart disease can live better and avoid complications.

Now that you know the recommendations, it is important to put them into practice. Remember that with a little effort you can achieve great benefits.

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