Tags: Passive | Smoking | Boosts | Risk | Blindess

Passive Smoking Boosts Risk Of Blindess

Wednesday, 21 December 2005 12:00 AM

Passive smoking increases the risk of one of the most common causes of blindness, according to a new British study.

A Cambridge University team looked at the impact of smoking on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found that the more a person smoked the greater the risk that they and their partners would develop AMD.

Research has already shown that smoking increases the risk of vision problems, but this study presents the clearest evidence yet that passive smoking can have a similar impact.

The researchers studied 435 people with AMD and 280 people without, looking at their smoking habits and the development of disease. They found that regularly smoking one pack of cigarettes or more each day for 40 years almost tripled the risk, while living with a smoker for at least five years doubled it.

The researchers also found that for people who had given up smoking for 20 years or more the risk was cut to levels comparable to non-smokers.

Co-author Professor John Yates said the researchers had "demonstrated a clear association" between smoking and the disease.

"Of the many environmental factors investigated in relation to AMD, smoking is the one most consistently found to be associated with increased risk," he said

Age-related macular degeneration affects more than 1.75 million people in the United States, according to the National Eye Institute. Owing to the rapid aging of the U.S. population, this number will increase to almost 3 million by 2020, experts estimate.

The results are reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Passive smoking increases the risk of one of the most common causes of blindness, according to a new British study. A Cambridge University team looked at the impact of smoking on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found that the more a person smoked the greater...
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Wednesday, 21 December 2005 12:00 AM
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