Blood Vessels in Eye Reveal Connection Between Heart Disease and Air Pollution
December 1, 2010 11:18 AM
comment(s) - last by
Narrowing of retinal arterioles could indicate heart attack or stroke
Researchers from the
University of Washington - Seattle
University of Michigan
have found that a closer look at blood vessels in the eye shows a connection between
heart disease and air pollution
Dr. Joel Kaufman, study leader and professor of medicine and occupational and environmental health sciences at the University of Washington, along with Sara Adar, co-author of the study and research assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of public Health, have used digital photography to observe blood vessels in the eye and found a link between air pollution and heart disease in the process.
Up until this point, previous studies have indicated that heart disease may be linked to pollution, but the study conducted by Kaufman and Adar is the first to observe the connection between pollution and tiny blood vessels, called the microvasculature.
Kaufman and Adar found this link by digitally photographing the tiny
located in the back of our eyes. These vessels are very similar to those found in the heart, but it is much easier to photograph those that are in the eye because they can be measured without the use of anesthesia or probes.
Researchers used 4,607 participants who had no
history of heart disease
and were between the ages of 45 and 84. They snapped digital photos of the retina and calculated the fine particulate matter in the air of each participant's home. They performed this procedure over a two year span before the eye exam, and also measured short-term exposure by checking pollution levels the day before the eye exam.
Kaufman and Adar concluded that healthy people exposed to increased levels of air pollution had "narrower retinal arterioles." The pollution levels throughout the study were, for the most part, below the EPA's
, but the tiny blood vessels still narrowed by 1/100th of a human hair. This may not seem like much, but researchers warn that this is enough to indicate a higher risk of heart disease. If all microvasculature in the body were affected the same way, it could lead to severe health consequences like a stroke or heart attack.
When comparing short-term with long-term exposure, the study shows that participants with short-term exposure to pollution had the microvascular blood vessels of a person that is three years older while long-term exposure left participants with microvascular blood vessels of a person seven years older. According to Adar, this type of change would mean a three percent increase of heart disease risk for women who live in polluted areas as opposed to cleaner ones. Adar did not note what the percentage of increased risk for men would be.
"The fact that this study identified a relationship between microvascular width and
exposures provides a strong potential link between the epidemiological observations of more cardiovascular events like fatal heart attacks with higher pollution exposures and a verifiable biological mechanism," said Kaufman.
Kaufman and Adar are continuing to study the effects over time in this same group of participants. They are looking to see if air pollution causes changes in vessel diameters over time in order to provide more evidence that air pollution causes the narrowing of the tiny blood vessels, thus proving that it is linked to heart disease.
was published in
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
vascular diagnosis tech = good. Linking it to home cleanliness = lol. =)
12/1/2010 11:33:02 PM
The only correlation here is - People who dont take care of their homes more then likely dont take care of their diets or fitness. Except for the convenient new eye diagnosis method technology that is the only thing this study reveals. =)
Other then that this study proves nothing.
Basicaly pigs at home probably are pigs with their diets and fitness. End of article, brought to you by your local HEPA air filter corp. lol ;)
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
New Therapeutic Implant Saves Those with Mild to Moderate Heart Failure
November 15, 2010, 10:52 AM
Researchers Directly Convert Human Skin Cells into Blood Stem Cells
November 8, 2010, 12:52 PM
Eastern China Has Poorest Air Quality in the World
September 28, 2010, 2:03 PM
Inside Lines Tests Plug-in Prius, London Violates EU Air Pollution Guidelines
June 29, 2010, 3:30 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
T-Mobile Launches Un-carrier 7.0, Beefs Up Wi-Fi Calling
September 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
Russian Hackers Compile List of 10+ Million Stolen Gmail, Yandex, Mailru
September 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information