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Smoking linked to increased cataract risk

Oct. 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM   |   Comments

ZHEJIANG, China, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Scientists in China say evidence shows smoking increases the risk of age-related cataracts, the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in the world.

Dr. Juan Ye of the Institute of Ophthalmology at Zhejiang University in China and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis using numerous studies from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America to compare the prevalence of age-related cataracts in individuals who ever smoked cigarettes to those who have never smoked.

"Although cataracts can be removed surgically to restore sight, many people remain blind from cataracts due to inadequate surgical services and high surgery expenses," Ye, the study author, said in a statement. "Identifying modifiable risk factors for cataracts may help establish preventive measures and reduce the financial as well as clinical burden caused by the disease."

The study, published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found every individual who ever smoked cigarettes was associated with an increased risk of age-related cataract, with a higher risk of incidence in current smokers.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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