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August 26, 1992

Does Smoke Get in Your Eyes?

Author Affiliations

From the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

JAMA. 1992;268(8):1025-1026. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490080099033

The two prospective studies of smoking and risk of cataract and cataract extraction in this issue of JAMA add significantly to the growing evidence that cigarette smoking is linked to cataractogenesis.1,2 The findings of Christen et al2 of an increased risk in male physicians of opacification in the lens nucleus among current smokers is consistent with previous studies that found a dose-response relationship between amount smoked and cataract,3-5 and a risk for past smokers similar to nonsmokers.3 Two previous studies found no association between cataract and cigarette smoking, but both had difficulties that may have produced null findings.6 One study categorized current smokers and past smokers together, thus reducing the risk estimate for current smokers.6 The other study, conducted in the Indian subcontinent, did not limit smoking to cigarettes alone but included other products (not further defined).7 With the prospective data from the