A condition known as xanthelasma, which is a demarcated yellowish deposit of fat, underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyes, has been linked to heart disease.
These yellow formations occur in the upper or lower eyelids near the inner corners of the eye.
Link Between Heart Disease And Xanthelasma
Both men and women are known to suffer from this condition, especially after 40 years of age. These yellow growths are the result of cholesterol deposits and it indicates a higher amount of cholesterol levels.
These growths are known to be soft and painless and do not affect the vision. These growths are usually unattractive and people seek medical help to get them removed.
More than beauty reasons, these are a warning sign of a more serious condition.
A recent study has confirmed the connection between heart disease and xanthelasma.
Men with xanthelasma are at a 12% higher risk of heart attack. It was found that men between the age groups of 70 and 79 years are at an even higher risk.
Women with this condition have an 8% higher risk of heart attack risk, when compared to those who are not affected by it.
Research stated that xanthelasma may indicate a heart attack, severe atherosclerosis, heart disease and death. This is not inclusive of other factors like high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
The presence of xanthelasma indicates an increased probability of heart disease, heart attack and death. Both men and women with these yellow growths on their eyelids are likely to experience a heart attack. It has also been proven that men are more at the risk of developing heart disease than women.
If these yellow growths appear on your eyelids, it is important that you check your cholesterol levels. Xanthelasmas are composed of macrophages that have taken up cholesterol and become foam cells.
What Causes It?
About half the people with xanthelasma have high cholesterol. Some of the factors that can cause it are high LDL or low HDL cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, and liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis that can raise the cholesterol levels.
Treatment Options For Xanthelasma
If you want to reduce the cholesterol deposits around the eyes, then lowering the cholesterol levels in the body is essential. This would involve eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, consuming fibre-rich foods, reducing the intake of red meat and dairy products, avoiding alcohol and eating more of fruits and vegetables.