Smokers who kick the habit may reduce their risk of developing the blurred
vision problem known as cataracts,
new research shows.
This common medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes
progressively cloudy is a leading cause of impaired vision. But researchers
in Sweden found that middle-aged men who smoked at least 15 cigarettes per day
could lower their risk for cataracts over the course of two decades if they
to quit smoking in the New Year
cessation may decrease the risk of cataract, but the risk among former
smokers persists for decades. Since smoking is also related to other [eye]
diseases, strategies to prevent smoking and promote smoking cessation are
important, and eye care professionals should encourage people to stop
smoking," Dr Birgitta Ejdervik Lindblad, of Orebro University Hospital,
and colleagues concluded in their report.
The study, published in the online edition of JAMA Ophthalmology,
involved a group of Swedish men ranging in age from 45 to 79 years. The
researchers examined the link between quitting smoking and more than 5 700
cases of cataract removal over the course of 12 years.
The study findings showed that men who smoked more than 15 cigarettes
daily had a 42% higher risk of undergoing cataract removal than men who
never smoked. Over time, however, quitting smoking can reduce that risk, the
study authors pointed out in a journal news release.
ways to quit smoking
The researchers found that more than 20 years after quitting, men who had
smoked an average of more than 15 cigarettes per day had only a 21% greater
risk for having a cataract removed than those who never smoked.
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