NEW YORK, Aug 9 (Praxis Press) Although cigarette smoking has been shown to be a risk factor for age-related cataracts, data are inconclusive about the risk of cataracts in individuals who have quit smoking. To examine the association between smoking cessation and the incidence of age-related cataracts, Christen and colleagues performed a prospective cohort study from 1982 through 1997, with an average follow-up time of 13.6 years. The study participants consisted of a total of 20,907 US male physicians participating in the Physicians' Health Study I who did not have a diagnosis of age-related cataract at baseline and had reported their level of smoking at baseline. They found that, compared with current smokers, the relative risk of cataract in smokers who had quit smoking was reduced by at least 20%. Some smoking-related damage to the lens may be reversible, and smoking cessation reduces the risk of cataract.

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