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Physical activity and occasional drinking found to be associated with decrease in vision impairment
Date:3/19/2014

years, 11 percent of non-drinkers (people who have not consumed alcohol within the past year) developed visual impairment while 4.8 percent of occasional drinkers did so. After adjustment for age, these figures show a 49 percent decrease in odds of developing visual impairment in those who were occasional drinkers compared to those who consumed no alcohol.

  • While the odds were higher in heavy drinkers and smokers compared to people who never drank heavily and never smoked, respectively, the associations were not statistically significant.

    While the study provides risk estimates of associations of lifestyle factors with the incidence of visual impairment, the researchers caution that a limitation to their study which is present in all epidemiologic research is that the findings may be due, in part, to unmeasured factors related to both lifestyle behaviors and development of visual impairment. The data does not prove that these lifestyle behaviors are directly responsible for increased risk.

    "While age is usually one of the most strongly associated factors for many eye diseases that cause visual impairment, it is a factor we cannot change," said Ronald Klein, M.D., MPH, lead researcher of the study. "Lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking and physical activity, however, can be altered. So, it's promising, in terms of possible prevention, that these behaviors are associated with developing visual impairment over the long term. However, further research is needed to determine whether modifying these behaviors will in fact lead to a direct reduction in vision loss."


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  • Contact: Media Relations
    media@aao.org
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    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Source:Eurekalert

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