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Smokers at greater risk of cataracts

Friday, 9 November 2012
Smokers at greater risk of cataracts
A recent study published in ‘Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science’, conducted by Zhejiang University has revealed a link between cigarette smoking and an increased risk of age-related cataract.

The study involved analysing several groups of people by comparing people that have never smoked to those who smoked regularly, and former smokers. Results demonstrated that the risk of age-related cataracts was much higher among those who smoked than those who didn’t. Former smokers were at greater risk than those who had never smoked, but were more likely to develop nuclear or subcapsular cataracts.

A Cataract is an eye disease that causes clouding on the lens, causing the eye to become opaque (in some cases it is more extreme than others), obstructing the path of light. If left untreated cataracts can lead to vision loss. The condition usually affects both eyes, although it can occur it one eye before the other. Approximately 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 in the UK have a cataract.

Lead Researcher, Juan Ye said: “Although cataracts can be removed surgically to restore sight, many people remain blind from cataracts due to inadequate surgical services and high surgery expenses. Identifying modifiable risk factors for cataracts may help establish preventive measures and reduce the financial, as well as clinical burden, caused by the disease.”

Posted By +Emma Haskell

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