Seeing or smoking
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
As some people age, they get macular degeneration, which can make them go blind by losing the ability to see the central area of their vision. Smoking also raises the risk of macular degeneration. So at UCLA, Anne Coleman wanted to check what happened to older smokers. She examined data on almost 2,000 women, starting at age 78.
Coleman says smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to get macular degeneration even at that age.
So her advice for older smokers:
[Anne Coleman speaks] ``It is worth it to go ahead and give it up, even though they’ve been smoking for 50 years, possibly.’’
As a doctor, she gives the same advice to men.
The study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011