Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration

If you don't have enough reason's to stop smoking here is one more. It increases your risk of severe macular degeneration. Current smokers are four times as likely to develop the more serious form of the disease. Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. The risk decreases a little for former smokers but still the risk remains. Further, a recent study indicates that the risk for former smokers may even be underestimated.

There are at least 13 studies that link smoking as a modifiable risk factor in developing macular degeneration. Quitting smoking does lower the risk of developing macular degeneration but only marginally and most of the effect is over the first few years. Also, of the vitamins that are shown to help decrease the risk of development, beta carotene cannot be taken by smokers due to increased risk of lung cancer.

If you are a smoker or thinking about taking it up I hope this gives you one more reason to save some money and lower your risk of a blinding disease.

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