The authors concluded within the abstract to their paper: “The magnitude of the greater-than-additive effect of smoking on the age-adjusted risk of AMD reinforces recommendations to quit smoking even for older individuals."
However, they speculate that smoking may reduce the levels of antioxidants in the blood, which changes the amount of blood flow in the eyes—thus, reducing the amount of pigmentation in the retina.
According to the 1-4-2010 Medical News Today article Smoking Increases Risk Of Blindness In Old Age, “… even after the age of 80, smoking increased a person's risk of developing AMD, age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among Americans aged 65 and over, suggesting it is never too late to give up the habit.”
Dr. Coleman was quoted in the Medical News Today article.
She stated, "Our population was considerably older than those previously studied….This research provides the first accurate snapshot of how smoking affects AMD risk later in life.”
She added, "The magnitude of the greater-than-additive effect of smoking on the age-adjusted risk of AMD reinforces recommendations to quit smoking even for older individuals…. "The take-home message is that it's never too late to quit smoking.”
And, Coleman concluded, "We found that even older people's eyes will benefit from kicking the habit.”
Learn more about age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at All About Vision’s website “Age-Related Macular Degeneration.”