Healthy Cardiovascular Health Also Promotes Good Eye Health
In a new study published by the American Journal of Medicine, investigators found that a healthy lifestyle – typically associated with cardiovascular health benefits – also lowered ocular diseases, particularly diabetic retinopathy. The conclusions suggest that attempts to prevent cardiovascular diseases might potentially counteract ocular ones as well.
Nearly 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from ocular diseases. The consequences of these diseases are vision impairment and blindness. About half of these cases are preventable; the leading causes of eye issues include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.
"Earlier studies have observed associations between eye diseases and individual lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, or hypertension," said lead investigator Duke Appiah, Ph.D., MPH, Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA. "It is known that these metrics of ideal cardiovascular health do not work alone and may interact additively to result in diseases. However, prior to our research, no other studies have comprehensively evaluated the association of all of the metrics of ideal cardiovascular health with ocular diseases."
The findings show that practicing a healthy lifestyle and implementing beneficial habits are both factors in achieving cardiovascular strength. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma can all be minimized by having an active, healthy lifestyle. Those with optimal cardiovascular health had 97 percent lower odds for diabetic retinopathy than individuals who did not.
"Overall, we believe that primary prevention and early detection approaches of ocular diseases are important, considering that over half of all deaths from ocular diseases and cardiovascular diseases are known to be preventable," commented co-investigators Noah De La Cruz, MPH, and Obadeh Shabaneh, MPH, both from the Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA.
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