How Smoking Raises Risk of Macular Degeneration

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Eye Vision and Smoking

Cigarette smoke and its component tar trigger the formation of deposits and thickening in the retina that cause age-related macular degeneration, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found. In experiments with mice, they also discovered heavy exposure to secondhand smoke produces similar changes.

The study is the first to examine the mechanism by which smoking causes macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, the researchers said. Several large epidemiologic studies have shown that smoking more than doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), said study author Ivan Su

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