High blood pressure is the world’s single most important risk factor for stroke, yet, it is nearly impossible to predict which hypertension people are going to develop a stroke. This research study indicates photographing the retina (retinal imaging) may help detect people who are more likely to have a stroke.
The retina provides information on the status of blood vessels in the brain. Retinal imaging is a easy, non-invasive, inexpensive way to examine the blood vessels of the retina.
Researchers tracked stroke occurrence for 13 years in nearly 3000 people with high blood pressure who had not previously experienced a stroke. At baseline, each person had photographs taken of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eyeball. Damage to the retinal blood vessels attributed to hypertension — called “hypertensive retinopathy” — evident on the photographs was scored as none, mild or moderate/severe. During the follow-up, 146 participants experienced a stroke caused by a blood clot and 15 by bleeding in the brain.
The research study found the risk of stroke was 35 % higher in people with mild hypertensive retinopathy and 137 % higher in people with moderate or severe hypertensive retinopathy. Even in patients on medication and achieving decent blood pressure control, the risk of a blood clot was 96 % higher in those with mild hypertensive retinopathy and 198 % higher in those with moderate or severe hypertensive retinopathy. Researchers adjusted for several stroke risk factors such as age, sex, race, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, body mass index, smoking and blood pressure readings.
Theralife MaculaEye is designed to improve microcirculation, membrane permeability, and blood vessel agility in the eye. In a research study, the fragile blood vessels in people with diabetic retinopathy was greatly improved over a period of 3 months. Clinical research data was verified with Dr. August Reader at the California Pacific Medical Center.