Eye color marks up skin disease risk

Frank Sinatra was known as Ol' Blue Eyes, but his eye color could have been more than just a characteristic--it could have been a pointer to his risk for certain serious skin conditions, according to a study led by the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Researchers there screened around 3,000 people with vitiligo (an autoimmune disease where skin loses pigmentation in patches) and compared eye color with the general population. They found that people with vitiligo were less likely to have blue eyes, and they also found 13 new genes linked with vitiligo. While the study doesn't necessarily mean that eye color will be used as a screening tool, this could lead to better understanding of the background of the disease, perhaps leading to potential treatments. Press release

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