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Smoking History Linked to Greater Eye Inflammation Risk

Study finds higher risk for all anatomic subtypes of uveitis as well as infectious uveitis

THURSDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco smoking history appears to be associated with a higher risk of developing uveitis, according to a study in the March issue of Ophthalmology.

Phoebe Lin, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues retrospectively examined the association between tobacco smoking history and uveitis in 564 patients with ocular inflammation and 564 randomly selected patients without ocular inflammation who had been seen at their eye clinic.

After adjusting for age, gender, race and income, the researchers found that past and current smokers had a higher risk of ocular inflammation (odds ratio, 2.2). Smoking was associated with a greater risk of all anatomic subtypes of uveitis (anterior, intermediate, posterior and panuveitis) as well as infectious uveitis. Cystoid macular edema further increased the risk of ocular inflammation in patients with panuveitis (odds ratios, 8.0 versus 3.1) and intermediate uveitis (odds ratios, 8.4 versus 1.5).

"In conclusion, our data suggest that smoking is a significant risk factor for all anatomic types of uveitis and infectious uveitis," the authors write. "In view of the known risks of smoking, these findings, if replicated, would give an additional reason to recommend smoking cessation in patients with uveitis."

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