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: Speech and language therapist to trial innovative new technology for stroke rehabilitation based on patient needs

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

First case of Ebola confirmed in Mali

2 hours ago

Mali's health ministry on Thursday said the country had its first confirmed case of Ebola after a two-year-old girl who had recently been in Guinea tested positive for the virus.

New York confirms first Ebola case

2 hours ago

A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said.

User comments : 0