Smoking Cigarettes may increase risk for Cataracts

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(Best Syndication News) - A study from China found that smoking cigarettes increases a person’s risk for developing age-related cataracts. The study, “Smoking and Risk of Age-related Cataract: A Meta-analysis,” was published in journal of Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis to determine the associated risk of smoking and age-related cataracts. They investigated 12 cohorts and 8 case-control studies conducted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. They compared the rate of age-related cataracts in people who ever smoked cigarettes in their lifetime to those who never smoked. The researchers also evaluated if they were a current or a past smoker, and the three subtypes of age-related cataracts.

Study author, Juan Ye, MD, PhD, of the Institute of Ophthalmology, Zhejiang University in China, said that even though cataracts can be operated on to correct sight, there are still many people who are blind from cataracts because they do not have access to the services or the cost is prohibitive.

The highest risk for age-related cataracts was seen with the current smokers. However, there was an increased risk seen with people who ever smoked cigarettes in their entire life. All smokers were at an increased risk for developing either nuclear cataract or subscapular cataract. The nuclear cataract causes clouding in the central nucleus of the eye, while the subscapular clouds the rear of the lens capsule. Smokers did not show a risk factor with cortical cataract, which clouds the cortex of the lens.

The researchers suggest that more investigation would be needed to understand what causes the increased risk.

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