Study: Smoking hikes blinding disease risk

Jul 11, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've determined smoking hikes the risk of age-related macular degeneration, while use of omega-3 fatty acids decreases that risk.

The researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School studied elderly male twins and found those who smoked or had a history of smoking had an increased risk of developing the blinding disease as compared with those who never smoked. At the same time, those who ate more fish and had diets with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduced their risk of the disease.

"Current smokers had a 1.9-fold increased risk of developing AMD, while past smokers had about a 1.7-fold increased risk," said Dr. Johanna Seddon, an associate professor of ophthalmology. "We also found that increased intake of fish reduced the risk of AMD, particularly if they ate two more servings per week."

AMD is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness among people aged 60 and older.

The study is detailed in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Poll: Many doubt hospitals can handle Ebola

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What do wildfires have to do with climate change?

Oct 14, 2014

As the western U.S. faces its third year of severe drought, firefighters are still battling two large fires in California. The state, which is experiencing its worst drought since record keeping began in ...

Why do people risk infection from bat meat?

Oct 09, 2014

Ebola, as with many emerging infections, is likely to have arisen due to man's interaction with wild animals – most likely the practice of hunting and eating wild meat known as 'bushmeat'. A team of researchers ...

Predicting and preventing costly breakdowns in machines

Aug 06, 2014

Everything's green in Duisburg. Well, almost. That's because many green dots and only one red one can be seen on a huge display that shows the city's street network. Every dot represents a traffic light. ...

Recommended for you

Poll: Many doubt hospitals can handle Ebola

20 minutes ago

A new poll finds most Americans have some confidence that the U.S. health care system will prevent Ebola from spreading in this country, but they're not so sure their local hospital can safely handle a patient.

Number of Ebola cases nears 10,000

37 minutes ago

The number of people with Ebola is set to hit 10,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the scramble to find a cure gathered pace.

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

43 minutes ago

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

Dubai cuts profile as Mideast plastic surgery hub

44 minutes ago

Dubai, the emirate known for its celebration of over-the-top glamour and luxury, is racing ahead to dominate the Middle East's plastic surgery market with plans to attract half a million medical tourists ...

User comments : 0