A new study has found further evidence of the risk of cataracts caused by cigarette smoking. A report published January 2, 2014 in JAMA revealed that smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day was associated with a 42% higher likelihood of cataract development compared to those have never smoked. In people who quit smoking for 20 years, that risk had declined to a relative 21%. Further, the higher the intensity of smoking, the longer it takes for the increased risk to decline; but those who smoked less than 15 cigarettes per day remained at significant risk 20 years after quitting.
The analysis was based upon questionnaire responses from 44,371 men ages 45 to 79 years in the Cohort of Swedish Men study, among whom 25% reported smoking and 39% had been smokers.
Source: Lindblad BE, et al. “Smoking Cessation and the Risk of Cataract A Prospective Cohort Study of Cataract Extraction Among Men” (JAMA Ophthalmol online, Jan. 2, 2014)