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The Relationship between Retinal Microvascular Abnormalities and Coronary Heart Disease: A Review

      Abstract

      Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States despite decades of advancement in its diagnosis and treatment. Because of the limitations of traditional risk stratification for heart disease, evaluation of the retinal vasculature has been proposed as an easily and safely measured adjunct to commonly used screening methods. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature concerning the relationships between retinal microvascular abnormalities and coronary heart disease. We outline details of the most recent large epidemiologic studies and discuss their potential implications for clinical practice. Finally, we propose a change to the current guidelines regarding the screening of “low-risk” women, a group that is often failed by traditional evaluation algorithms.

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