Incurable Age-Related Macular Degeneration Loom for Smokers

Age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness in people, aged 60 and older is another ill effect of smoking, recent study says.

However it is also found that those who ate more fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna and salmon, had a lower risk of developing the vision-robbing disease.

In the study, researchers collected data on 681 elderly male twins from the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council World War II Veteran Twin Registry.

They discovered that current smokers had a 1.9-fold increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, while past smokers had about a 1.7-fold increased risk. In addition, the researchers found that eating fish reduced the risk of AMD, particularly if two or more servings were consumed each week. Increased omega-3 fatty acids from fish in the diet were also associated with a lower AMD risk.

In another study in the same issue of the journal, Australian researchers confirmed that eating fish seems to protect against AMD. Of 2,335 study participants who took part in a five-year follow-up, 158 had developed early AMD and 26 had late-stage disease. Those who ate fish once a week had a 40 percent reduced risk of early AMD, compared with those who ate fish less than once a month. And those who ate fish three or more times a week also had reduced risk for late-stage AMD.

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