Author(s): Fernndez A, Sorokin A, Thompson PD
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Abstract Corneal arcus is a lipid-rich and predominantly extracellular deposit that forms at the corneoscleral limbus. It represents the most common peripheral corneal opacity and is not associated with tissue breakdown but rather with the deposition of lipids. The deposition of cholesterol in the peripheral cornea and arterial wall are similar in that both are accelerated by elevated serum levels of atherogenic lipoproteins, such as low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Corneal arcus is more prevalent in men than in women and in Blacks than in Whites. Its prevalence increases with advancing age. It has been associated with hypercholesterolemia, xanthelasmas, alcohol, blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, age, and coronary heart disease. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether or not corneal arcus is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). The present systematic review examines the relationship of corneal arcus and CHD to determine if corneal arcus is an independent CHD risk factor. We conclude that there is no consensus that corneal arcus is an independent risk factor. The presence of corneal arcus in a young person should prompt a search for lipid abnormalities. Also, because corneal arcus represents physical evidence of early lipid deposition, its presence suggests the need for aggressive lipid therapy.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism