Keep a close watch on your eyes - especially if you smoke.
An extremely valuable study on age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) has
been published by researchers in Australia. There are two key points worth
remembering - smokers and ex-smokers appear to show a particularly high risk
of developing this disease. Furthermore, it appears to be associated with a
lower life expectancy.
For 11 years, Professor Sudha Cugati of the University of Sydney monitored
3,654 people over the age of 49. By the end of the study, the author had
recorded 1,051 deaths and, most importantly, observed that mortality was
much higher (54%) among those affected by cataracts or ARMD than among those
not suffering from these conditions (where it was 34%).
"After taking into account other risk factors that could have led to these
deaths, we have clearly demonstrated a link between these two eye diseases
and mortality among the under 75s", Professor Cugati comments. Which is why
it is important to keep a close watch on your eyesight throughout your life!
And particularly if you are a smoker or an ex-smoker. As the authors point
out, for smokers the risk of developing ARMD appears to be increased
fourfold. And for ex-smokers there is three times the risk compared with
those who have never smoked.