Researchers from University of Edinburgh will be conducting a study to check whether a scan of the blood vessels in the eyes can help detect signs of heart disease.
The study will involve more than 1,000 patients who have been deemed to be at risk of heart disease. The researchers will be capturing high definition images of their retinas at the university's Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC). The images will then be analyzed to detect blood vessel width or unusually branched blood vessels.
Dr Tom MacGillivray, who is the manager of the Image Analysis laboratory in CRIC, said that if the study is successful, then it may help patients to adopt lifestyle changes at an early stage of their disease.
"If we can identify early problems in the blood vessels in the eyes we might potentially pinpoint signs of heart disease. This could help identify people who would benefit from early lifestyle changes and preventative therapies", he said.