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Smoking Doubles Risk Of Degenerative Eye Condition

April 15, 2005
British Medical Journal
Smoking doubles the risk of the progressive and irreversible eye condition, macular degeneration, and may account for almost 30,000 cases in the UK, suggests research in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
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The participants all underwent a series of detailed eye tests and were asked about their smoking habits, and if they had given up, how long ago. After taking into account other risk factors, such as alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease, the results showed that current smokers were twice as likely to be visually impaired as non-smokers.

Those who had kicked the habit more than 20 years previously were not at risk.

Based on the numbers of people in the UK who are blind or who are partially sighted as a result of macular degeneration, the authors calculated that smoking was likely to have caused up to 30,000 cases.

"An increased risk of [age related macular degeneration], which is the most commonly occurring cause of blindness in the United Kingdom, is yet another reason for people to stop smoking and governments to develop public health campaigns against this hazard," conclude the authors.

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The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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British Medical Journal. "Smoking Doubles Risk Of Degenerative Eye Condition." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2005. <>.
British Medical Journal. (2005, April 15). Smoking Doubles Risk Of Degenerative Eye Condition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 27, 2015 from
British Medical Journal. "Smoking Doubles Risk Of Degenerative Eye Condition." ScienceDaily. (accessed April 27, 2015).

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