home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Scientists Confirm That Smoking Causes Blindness

  September, 21 2005 7:35
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Smoking greatly increases your chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which leads to severe and irreversible sight-loss, according to an article published in the Royal College of Ophthalmologist's journal Eye (Vol. 19, No. 9) (Also published online 7th September 2005).

AMD is the most common cause of visual impairment in the western world; over 200,000 people suffer from the disease in the UK alone. Treatments are costly and at best only slow an inevitable progression. This means that the identification of any modifiable risk factor - such as smoking - is of great importance.

Simon Kelly and colleagues reviewed 17 studies of the association between smoking and AMD and found that in 13 of these smokers were significantly more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. They also suggest that heavier smokers are at higher risk, and that the risk is lower for ex-smokers - indicating that the negative effects can be at least partly reversed by giving up.

Kelly and colleagues also present, in a separate paper, evidence from a survey at Bolton Hospital NHS trust suggesting that the general public remain largely unaware that smoking can lead to loss of vision. Importantly, their findings also indicate that fear of blindness may provide as much of a motivation to quit as that of well-established smoking-related conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease.

The strength of evidence presented in Kelly's review, and the conclusions of the subsequent clinical study, leave little doubt that action should be taken to raise awareness of the link between smoking and sight loss.

Author contact:

Mr Simon Kelly (Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust, Bolton, UK)
E-mail: Simon.Kelly@boltonh-tr.nwest.nhs.uk

For media inquiries relating to editorial content/policy for Eye:

Amy Deacon (Assistant Editor - Academic Journals, Nature Publishing Group, London, UK)
E-mail: a.deacon@nature.com

Abstracts available online: Paper 1; Paper 2.

(C) Eye press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.