(HealthDay News) – Smoking cessation correlates with a reduction in the risk of cataract extraction, although the risk persists for more than 20 years, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Birgitta Ejdervik Lindblad, MD, PhD, from Örebro University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation between smoking cessation and the risk of cataract extraction using data from 44,371 men, aged 45–79 years, participating in the Cohort of Swedish Men.
The researchers identified 5,713 incident cases of age-related cataract extraction during 12 years of follow-up. The risk of cataract extraction was increased with smoking intensity and cumulative dose of smoking (P for trend <0.001). After adjustment for age and other potential risk factors, the risk of cataract extraction was significantly increased among current smokers of >15 cigarettes per day vs. never smokers (rate ratio, 1.42). The risk for cataract extraction decreased significantly with time from smoking cessation (P for trend <0.001). After more than two decades since smoking cessation, the rate ratio was 1.21 for those with smoking intensity of >15 cigarettes per day, with an earlier effect seen in those who smoked less. The risk did not decrease to the level of never smokers even more than 20 years after smoking cessation (rate ratio, 1.13).
“These findings emphasize the importance of early smoking cessation and preferably the avoidance of smoking,” the authors conclude.