Smoking Causes Macular Degeneration?

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Smoking Causes Macular Degeneration?

There is a recent study that concludes that smokers 80 and older increase their risk of developing macular degeneration.

There was a correlation between increased risk of developing macular degeneration and alcohol consumption as well.

Both smoking and alcohol were related to an increased risk of developing macular degeneration above the normal rate associated with advancing age.

The “results” were the gleaned from data obtained from the “Study of Osteoporosis Fractures,” which obtained health information over a 15 year period. It was not a true prospective study. The study included data from 1958 women.

The study was reported online in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

What Does This Mean? This does NOT mean that smoking and alcohol consumption cause macular degeneration, but a non-critical reader would say that it does. There are already excerpts about the “study” claiming that both cause macular degeneration.

At the very most, one can only say there is an association between smoking and alcohol, but there is no causal relationship. For there to be a “cause-effect” relationship, a prospective, randomized trial needs to be performed.  The study needs to be free of bias, for instance, this was a study including only women, etc.  There should be limited “bias.”

Remember Resolution #6 for the New Year? The one about reading critically………..

“Randy”

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist
Fairfax Virginia


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