Yellow markings on and around the eyelids can mean a person is at risk for heart attack, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Denmark began following 12,745 patients in the 1970s in the Herlev Hospital in Denmark, the BBC reported.

They found that the patients with yellow blobs, or xanthelasmata, around the eyes were more at risk for heart attack, heart disease, and death, MSNBC.com reported.

Most people with xanthelasmata are seen by dermatologists, when they want their xanthelasmata removed for cosmetic reasons, said researchers. Some of these people may not have been managed according to their increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Of the more than 12,000 patients, there were 8,507 deaths, 1,872 myocardial infarctions, 3,699 cases of ischemic heart disease, 1,498 ischemic strokes, and 1,815 cases of ischemic cerebrovascular disease, MedPage Today reported.

According to researchers, the yellow blobs can still happen even if a patient is otherwise healthy with good cholesterol levels.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.