Smoking (1991, 1993, 2014) - Cataracts


1991, 1993 Researchers have established that smoking cigarettes substantially increases the risk of developing age-related cataracts. Smoking accounts for about 20% of all cataract incidences.

Furthermore, for men who smoke more than a pack a day of cigarettes, the risk factor is increased to 205%. Women who smoke more than a pack a day of cigarettes are 63% more likely to develop cataracts than other women.

Cigarette smoking causes about 20 percent of all cataracts. Men who smoke more than a pack a day increase their risk for cataracts by 205 percent; for female smokers, risk increases 63 percent.

Study1: W.G. Christan, et al., Cigarette smoking and the risks of cataract. Investigative Ophthalmology, April 1991.

Study2: W. G. Christen, and J.M. Seddon, Cigarette smoking and cataract. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, September, 1993

2014 Smoking cigarettes also increases the risk of developing cataracts in young people (aged 21 to 30). Scientists evaluated the lens densities of 60 young cigarette smokers who smoked a minimum of 10 cigarettes daily for a minimum of two years. The study included another 60 healthy non-smokers of like age and gender.

The researchers found that while there was no significant difference between the subjects and the controls as to the nuclear (center) and posterior areas of the lens, however in the anterior (front) of the lens the smokers showed marked increases in lens density. In other words, smoking may increase the risk of anterior cortical (front, edges) and subcapsular cataracts in this age group.

Researchers: T. Kar, A. Ayata, Y. Aksoy, A. Kaya, M. Unal

Published: The effect of chronic smoking on lens density in young adults, European Journal of Ophthalmology, September-October, 2014.