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May 31, 2005

Age Related Macular Degeneration Linked to Smoking (Updated)

Topics: Health Issues

According to a report in the May issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology, older adults who smoke are twice as likely to have age related macular degeneration (AMD) than their non-smoking peers.  Current smoking status raised the risk of AMD by 2.15-fold compared with non-smoking, . Virtually no excess risk was seen in ex-smokers, especially those who had stopped more than 20 years previously. The findings resulted from the largest study to look at this association in a British population.

Source - Reuters

Update: Thanks to Dan at Digger's Rhealm, I became aware that the article, as written by Reuters, can be misleading. So here is the comment that I made at Dan's post to help readers better understand the results of the study:

"Actually, the Reuters article was written very poorly(as was my post for not correcting it), because the Reuter's comment "the strength of the association among adults 75 years of age and older in the UK was unclear," actually refered to the known strength of association - prior to the study's completion. The actual abstract of the study included stat summary of (odds ratio 2.15, 95% CI 1.42 to 3.26). The fact that the statistic of 2.15 falls within the confidence interval of 1.42 to 3.26, indicates that the statistical significance is clear. The relationship IS statistically significant."

Suggested readings:

Risk factors for the incidence of Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

Of interest for prevention of macular degeneration - Nutrition and age-related macular degeneration

Posted by Hyscience at May 31, 2005 9:22 PM

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