Xanthelasmata - yellow markings on the eyelids - is a signal of increased risk of heart disease, scientists have reported.
It could indicate the body has deposits of fat being built up elsewhere in the body and means the person is 48% more likely to have a heart attack or develop other related illness.
Xanthelasmata mostly comprises cholesterol and the presence of it makes a person more likely to have a build-up of the waxy fat around their body.
Such people are deemed to be at an elevated risk of heart attack and ought to change their lifestyle to improve their health, the scientists completing a long-term study in Denmark said.
The research began in the 1970s and involved 12,745 people. Xanthelasmata was detected in 4.4% of them. Data collected 33 years later found that 1,872 participants had suffered a heart attack, 3,699 had heart disease and 8,507 had died.
The scientists said the people with xanthelasmata were more likely to have heart-related problems, being the most likely to have deposits of cholesterol around the body.
The yellow markings mean a person has a 48% increased chance of having a heart attack and a 39% increased chance of developing heart disease. They are also 14% more likely not to survive at all.
White or grey rings around the cornea (arcus corneae) were not linked to increased CVD risk.
The findings of the research, which took place in Herlev Hospital near Copenhagen, appear on the British Medical Journal’s website.