The association between smoking and alcohol intake with AMD

We have all been told for years that smoking can increase risk for developing age-related macular degeneration. The study Association of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, and Glycemic Risk Factors With Age-Related Macular Degeneration from the November 2021 issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, shows that there is a correlation between smoking and advanced AMD as well as high alcohol intake and geographic atrophy.

“Oxidative stress is thought to play a major role in AMD pathogenesis. Smoking is known to decrease levels of antioxidants, resulting in the disruption of the retinal pigment epithelium barrier and leading to the formation of drusen and neovascularization.”

“Smoking can also upregulate endothelial smooth muscle cell proliferation, leading to choroidal neovascularization.”

“…the mechanism of alcohol as a risk factor for AMD is thought to be related to oxidative damage. Alcohol depletes antioxidant levels and results in the production of reactive oxygen species.”

Overall, this is a good study. It gives some hard evidence to present to your patience that refuse to quit smoking.