Smoking cigarettes has long been known for damaging eyesight, on top of the harm it causes to the lungs, heart and other organs. But a study suggests that smoking can impair vision far earlier than is thought. Heavy smokers with an average age of 35 were markedly worse than nonsmokers at distinguishing colors as well as the contrast between different shades of gray, the authors reported. Previous research has linked smoking with macular degeneration and cataracts, which tend to occur decades later.

As drug use increases so do rates of syphilis

Public health officials grappling with record-high syphilis rates have pinpointed what appears to be a major risk factor: drug use. The report shows a large intersection between drug use and syphilis among women and heterosexual men. In those groups, reported use of methamphetamine, heroin and other injection drugs more than doubled from 2013 to 2017. Syphilis rates jumped by 73 percent overall and 156 percent for women from 2013 to 2017. The data did not reveal the same increases in drug use among gay men with syphilis.

Youthful behavior may predict income

Early behavior may predict income as an adult, a study said. Kindergarten teachers in the poorest neighborhoods of Montreal rated 920 6-year-old boys using scales measuring inattention, hyperactivity, defiant behavior, aggression and prosociality (the tendency to help, stop quarrels or invite a bystander into a game). Researchers then gathered data on earnings from tax returns at ages 35 to 36. The study is in JAMA Pediatrics. The scientists found that boys in the highest one-quarter for inattention later earned an average of about $17,000 less a year than those in the lowest one-fourth.

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