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Study Links Air Pollution, Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD is a key cause of severe vision loss in U.S. adults over 50.

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A new study suggests a link between air pollution and the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

The finds are concerning  at a time when U.S. air quality has begun to decline, the American Optometric Association reports.

In the research, individuals exposed to greater levels of fine particulate matter were at least 8 percent more likely to self-report AMD, according to a post on AOA’s website. The study was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

The researchers wrote that “the direction of the relationships between air pollution and both AMD and associated retinal layer thicknesses indicate higher exposure to air pollution may make the cells more vulnerable and increase the risk of AMD.”

The cross-sectional study included nearly 116,000 UK Biobank participants ages 40 to 69.

Age-related macular degeneration is a key cause of severe vision loss in U.S. adults over 50.

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