(ORDO NEWS) — Studies have shown that a doctor only needs to look into the eyes of his patient with heart failure to understand how much he has left to live. Doctors say that patients with large pupils are more likely to survive a cardiac arrest and be discharged from the hospital.
A 2020 study took photographs of the eyes of 870 patients hospitalized for acute heart failure. The mean age of the participants was 67 years, 37% of the patients were women. The participants were then divided into those with large pupils and those with small pupils.
The study found that people with smaller pupils are twice as likely to die. Also, 47% of people with smaller pupils were readmitted to hospital, while those with large pupils had only 28% hospitalizations.
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Study author Dr Kohei Nozaki said: “Our results suggest that pupils are a new way to identify cardiac patients at increased risk of death.”
About 26 million people worldwide live with heart failure. This is a dangerous condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. Up to 45% of patients admitted to a hospital with heart failure die within one year of admission.
One of the causes of exacerbation of heart failure is a dysfunction of the autonomic system of the body, which controls the heart rate, digestion, respiration and other body systems.
Analysis of autonomic function is usually performed using changes in heart rate. However, this method is not effective in patients with abnormal heart rhythms, which is common in people with heart failure.
The pupillary area is also another way to assess autonomic function and is already actively measured in patients with Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. The study showed that the pupil can also give a definite prognosis for people with heart failure.
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