Air pollution in urban areas is linked to heightened risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major study of more than 52,000 people has found. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness among over 50s in Ireland and in high-income countries – with cases projected to reach 300 million globally by 2040. After accounting for potentially influential factors including underlying health conditions and lifestyle, analysis of UK data show exposure to higher levels of tiny airborne pollutants known as particulate matter was associated with an 8 per cent increased risk of AMD.

 

 

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