Navigation Links
It's never too late to quit smoking and save your vision

Need a little extra incentive to kick the habit?

Just in time for New Year's resolutions, a UCLA study finds that even after age 80, smoking continues to increase one's risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65.

The American Journal of Ophthalmology publishes the findings in its January edition.

"The take-home message is that it's never too late to quit smoking," said lead author Dr. Anne Coleman, professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. "We found that even older people's eyes will benefit from kicking the habit."

AMD causes progressive damage to the macula, the center of the retina that allows us to see fine details. When the macula degenerates, people experience darkness or blurring in their central vision, preventing them from being able to read, drive and recognize faces.

After age, smoking is the second most common risk factor for AMD. This study sought to determine whether age influences the effects of smoking on AMD risk.

Coleman and her colleagues followed a group of 1,958 women who underwent retinal photographs at five-year intervals, starting with a baseline exam at age 78. Four percent, or 75 of the women, smoked.

The researchers compared the retinal images at ages 78 and 83 to check for the appearance of AMD, and evaluate whether smoking affected the women's likelihood of developing the disease.

"Age is the strongest predictor for AMD, yet most of the research in this field has been conducted in people younger than 75," explained Coleman. "Our population was considerably older than those previously studied. This research provides the first accurate snapshot of how smoking affects AMD risk later in life."

Overall, women who smoked had 11 percent higher rates of AMD than other women their same age. In women over 80, however, those who smoked were 5.5 times more likely to develop AMD than women their age who did not smoke.

"We saw a slightly higher rate of AMD in women after age 80, but the rate was dramatically higher in older women who smoked," said Coleman. "The bottom line is that AMD risk increases with age. And if you smoke, your risk of developing the disease rises even more."

Cigarette smoking has been hypothesized to increase AMD risk by reducing serum antioxidant levels, altering blood flow to the eyes and decreasing retinal pigments.

"This study provides yet another compelling reason to stop smoking and suggests that it is never too late to quit," said Dr. Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute.


Contact: Elaine Schmidt Haber
University of California - Los Angeles

Related medicine news :

1. Alcoholics May Never Fully Regain Balance
2. You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression: High-Definition for the Web
3. Never Married, Over 40, Well-Adjusted
4. Genital Herpes May Never Go Dormant
5. Many Childhood Cancer Survivors Never Marry
6. A Staggering 7 Out of 10 Women Facing Breast Cancer Are Never Told of Their Options
7. Its Now or Never - Deadline for Olympic-Hopeful Skater With Secret Weapon
8. Nurses to Benefit From New CMS Never Events Resource Area on Mosbys Nursing Consult
9. Wine & Latin Food: They Said It Would Never Last
10. New Compact and Folding Reading Glasses from Never Leave Home Without Them
11. Oral Health Should Never Be Compromised
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... At Grand ... comfortable and convenient setting. , When you have dental problems, you need to turn ... and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs, a friendly dentist who counsels you ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... specializes in general dentistry out of Glen Ridge, NJ. He has both ... to achieve optimal mastication. He is also an expert in cosmetic dentistry. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ”Dying Words: The ... be released on December 1, 2015, to coincide with World AIDS Day. The multi-media ... journalist who covered the AIDS epidemic as he was dying of the disease. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Brenntag Specialties, Inc. ... partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral solid dosage in the over ... , “We are pleased to announce our expanded distribution agreement with ASI.” said ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... An inventor from Charlottesville, Va., is concerned about the need for peace and ... due to loud noises," she said, "so I decided that there needs to be ... radio waves and microwaves." , The baby BABY MUFF prevents loud noises, radio waves ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  IBA Molecular North America, Inc. (IBAMNA), ... radiopharmaceuticals, announced that as of January 1, 2016, it ... The decision to rebrand the company reflects a refined ... as its close relationship with Zevacor Molecular.  Both IBAMNA ... Science (IHS). Peter Burke , Vice ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 North ... and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% from ... was valued at USD 135.6 million in 2014, and is expected ... --> According to the new Market Research Report "North ... non-invasive), By End User (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis And ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Kevin Smith ... Sensium Healthcare, a global pioneer in wireless monitoring ... Boston, MA , Mr. Smith will ... Sensium,s global commercial strategy.  He will also directly ... to build clinical evidence for SensiumVitals, the first ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: