Air pollution linked to higher chance of irreversible eye loss find a long term study

Among the 52,602 people whose eyes had been assessed, 75 percent of those with a clinical diagnosis of AMD had signs of AMD on retinal imaging.

Press Trust of India January 27, 2021 12:03:51 IST
Air pollution linked to higher chance of irreversible eye loss find a long term study

Analysis of the data showed that higher fine particulate matter (PM2.5 ) exposure was associated with a higher (eight percent) risk of AMD, while all other pollutants, except coarse particulate matter, were associated with changes in retinal structure.

Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss, known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a long-term study that could pave the way for new treatment options for the disorder. The researchers, including those from the University College London, UK, noted that AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness among the over 50s in high-income countries, with the numbers of those affected projected to reach 300 million by 2040. Known risk factors include older age, smoking, and genetic make-up, they said.

Air pollution linked to higher chance of irreversible eye loss find a long term study

Analysis of the data showed that higher fine particulate matter (PM2.5 ) exposure was associated with a higher (eight percent) risk of AMD, while all other pollutants, except coarse particulate matter, were associated with changes in retinal structure.

Given that ambient air pollution is associated with heightened risks of heart and respiratory diseases, the study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, analysed if it might also be associated with a heightened risk of AMD.

The researchers drew on data from 115,954 UK Biobank (UKBB) study participants aged 40-69 with no eye problems at the start of this study in 2006. Measures of ambient air pollution included those for particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Of the total number of study participants, 1,286 were diagnosed with AMD, according to the researchers.

Among the 52,602 people whose eyes had been assessed, 75 percent of those with a clinical diagnosis of AMD had signs of AMD on retinal imaging compared to only 12 percent of those without a clinical diagnosis of AMD, they said.

Analysis of the data showed that higher fine particulate matter (PM2.5 ) exposure was associated with a higher (eight percent) risk of AMD, while all other pollutants, except coarse particulate matter, were associated with changes in retinal structure.

The researchers noted that it is an observational study, and as such, can't establish the cause, adding the findings, however, echo those found elsewhere in the world. They suggest ambient air pollution could plausibly be associated with AMD through oxidative stress or inflammation.

"Overall, our findings suggest that ambient air pollution, especially fine particulate matter or those of combustion-related particles, may affect AMD risk," the researchers noted.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

'Pop stars commenting on farmers' protest, but govt not interested': Rahul Gandhi slams Centre on agri laws
India

'Pop stars commenting on farmers' protest, but govt not interested': Rahul Gandhi slams Centre on agri laws

The Wayanad MP, who is on a two-day visit to his constituency in poll-bound Kerala, also took a dig at PM Narendra Modi for 'ridiculing' MGNREGA scheme

Farm reforms will benefit small, marginal farmers, says Narendra Modi in UP's Bahraich
India

Farm reforms will benefit small, marginal farmers, says Narendra Modi in UP's Bahraich

While laying the foundation stone for a statue of warrior king Suheldev, the PM also said that his govt was trying to rectify the 'mistakes' of previous regimes that did not honour deserving warriors and leaders

Narendra Modi in West Bengal: Lotus will bring 'asol poribartan', vows PM while inaugurating slew of projects
Politics

Narendra Modi in West Bengal: Lotus will bring 'asol poribartan', vows PM while inaugurating slew of projects

The prime minister also accused the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government of not transferring funds of central schemes to people in the state