Genetics, Lifestyle May Contribute To AMD Progression

The Boston Globe  (7/8, Satija) reported that a study  published in the July issue of Ophthalmology detailed the influence of genetics and environment on the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers “looked at over 200 male pairs of identical twins” in which some twins both had the disease but at different stages, or only one twin did. The study found that heavy smoking was correlated with more advanced AMD, whereas eating foods high in betaine and methionine correlates with slower development of disease. “A previous study of identical and fraternal twins…found that genetics explained between 46 and 71 percent of the severity of the disease, while environmental factors explained between 19 and 37 percent.”

Experts Warn Deep Tan Will Give Way To Permanent Skin Damage

HealthDay  (7/8, Thompson) reported that physicians stress that a deep tan from a tanning salon “will eventually give way to permanent skin damage caused by the ultraviolet rays emitted by a tanning bed — damage up to and including potentially deadly skin cancer.” And, even though “most people spend more time in the sun during the summer months, exposure to ultraviolet light has become increasingly a year-round danger,” particularly for people who use tanning beds. Dermatologist James Spencer, MD explained, “The bottom line is excessive UV exposure increases your risk of skin cancer, whether you are indoors or outdoors.”