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Women can cut AMD risk by two-thirds

A recent observational study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology reveals that women who exercise, eat a balanced diet, and don't smoke can cut their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by more than two-thirds. The study involved 1,313 women ages 55 to 74. The participants provided detailed dietary and lifestyle histories an average of six years before AMD was diagnosed. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among adults in the United States age 60 and older. Smoking alone was not a strong risk factor for AMD but the combination of smoking, diet and exercise was a significant indicator of AMD risk. Women who had healthy diets, exercised regularly and didn't smoke had a 71% lower risk factor for AMD. While no hard evidence was offered for a causal mechanism, researchers suggest that a healthy lifestyle may result in lower blood pressure which may in turn lessen the risk of AMD. In addition, a family history of AMD is a known risk factor which a healthy lifestyle may or may not affect.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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