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People Who Wear Glasses Are Indeed More Intelligent, Genetic Study Reveals

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Findings of a new genetic research suggest that people who wear glasses are indeed more intelligent. Researchers said this has something to do with the genes.

Wearing Glasses And Intelligence

In the new study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, Gail Davies, from the Center for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, and colleagues involved 300,486 individuals who are between 16 and 102 years old.

The participants had taken different thinking tests that were then summarized as general cognitive ability score. They also had genetic testing, which allowed the researchers to examine their DNA.

Davies and colleagues wanted to examine genomic regions associated with better cognitive function and discovered nearly 150 genetic regions associated with how clever people are.

They also found that people who are more intelligent tend to be nearly 30 percent more likely to have genes that require them to use reading glasses compared with individuals who were considered to be less smart.

"The genetic correlations between general cognitive function and eyesight were in opposite directions depending on the reported reason for wearing glasses or contact lenses," the researchers wrote in their study, which was published on May 29.

Genes Linked To Higher Cognitive Ability Associated With Physical, Mental Health

Besides finding a link between eyesight and intelligence, researchers also found that genetic signature linked to increased cognitive function is also associated with better cardiovascular and mental health, reduced risk of lung cancer, and long life.

"We detect significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity," the researchers said.

The researchers were not able to find out why there is a genetic correlation that exists between intelligence, poor eyesight, and cardiovascular health but cited the implications of their findings.

Davies and colleagues said that the results of their research could shed light on the declines in cognitive function, which occur when people get ill and as they get older.

"The discovery of shared genetic effects on health outcomes and brain structure provides a foundation for exploring the mechanisms by which these differences influence thinking skills throughout a lifetime," Davies said.

Nearsightedness And Higher Level Of Education

A 2014 study, which was published in the journal Ophthalmology, also suggested a link between wearing glasses and higher educational attainment. Researchers from Germany found that 53 percent of people who graduated from college lived with myopia or nearsightedness.

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