According to a new study, women who do three of the most important things in health- eat right, exercise, and don’t smoke – have a much lower chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Participants in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, as compared to women who were sedentary, smoked and ate processed and fatty foods, were two thirds less likely to develop AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that gradually destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed for seeing objects clearly and for daily tasks like reading and driving. While it causes no pain, AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years or older.
The study was a longtime in the making, as the women who were chosen were recruited from a group of people who provided detailed dietary and lifestyle information over a six year period.
“Adopting these healthy habits may markedly lower the prevalence of early AMD, the number of people who develop advanced AMD in their lifetime, and healthcare costs associated with treatment for this condition,” Mares and co-authors wrote online in Archives of Ophthalmology.
While there was no “smoking gun” as to the cause of AMD, the researchers believe that since a healthy lifestyle usually keeps your blood pressure down, which may reduce the risk of AMD.