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Smoking quadruples risk for vision-stealing eye disease

Age-related macular degeneration is a baby-boomer disease that, according to the American Medical Association, affects more than 10 million Americans. It is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over age 65. A study published in the July 2007 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology found that current smokers are four times more likely to develop this eye problem than nonsmokers.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent: “We’re talking about a disease called age-related macular degeneration.

The biggest risk factor for it is simply getting older. It usually hits after age 50, and, by the time you’re 75, about 15 percent of all people have it. Smoking is also a known risk factor. But this research found the risk for getting late age-related macular degeneration is four times greater if you smoke.”

Source: CNN news 12/8/2008