Health Watch -- Healthy New Habits: Another reason to quit

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


We're talking about healthy new habits to start and bad habits to break this week on Health Watch. If you’re struggling with your resolution to quit smoking, here's some information that may help steel your resolve. You already knew that smoking increases your risks for cancer and heart disease. But did you know that smoking could also increase your risk for blindness?

British researchers recently found that smokers were two to three times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness. Dr. Yu-Guang He, an ophthalmologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says there are number of possible reasons for this result, such as reduction of oxygen to the eye, all of which add up to degeneration in the eye. Age and genetics play a big role in your risk for macular degeneration, but smoking is one risk factor you can control.

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January 2006

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