The relationship between corneal arcus (arcus senilis) and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is examined in a prospective study of White men (n = 3,930) and women non-hormone users (n = 2,139), ages 30-69, followed for an average of 8.4 years as part of the Lipid Research Clinics Mortality Follow-up Study. After excluding those with clinically manifest CHD at baseline, corneal arcus was strongly associated with CHD and CVD mortality only in hyperlipidemic men ages 30-49 years, for whom the relative risk for CHD and CVD death was 3.7 and 4.0, respectively, after adjusting for age, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and smoking status using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among 30-49 year old males, corneal arcus appears to be a prognostic factor for CHD, independent of its association with hyperlipidemia in this age-group, of about the same magnitude as other common risk factors, underscoring the usefulness of corneal arcus as a prognostic factor to the practicing clinician.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health