4 years ago

Comparison of color discrimination in chronic heavy smokers and healthy subjects [version 3; referees: 2 approved]

Natalia Leandro Almeida, Natanael Antonio dos Santos, Thiago Monteiro de Paiva Fernandes
Background: Cigarette smoke is probably the most significant source of exposure to toxic chemicals for humans, involving health-damaging components, such as nicotine, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde. The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of chronic heavy smoking on color discrimination (CD). Methods: All subjects were free of any neuropsychiatric disorder, identifiable ocular disease and had normal acuity. No abnormalities were detected in the fundoscopic examination and in the optical coherence tomography exam. We assessed color vision for healthy heavy smokers (n = 15; age range, 20-45 years), deprived smokers (n = 15, age range 20-45 years) and healthy non-smokers (n = 15; age range, 20-45 years), using the psychophysical forced-choice method. All groups were matched for gender and education level. In this test, the volunteers had to choose the pseudoisochromatic stimulus containing a test frequency at four directions (e.g., up, down, right and left) in the subtest of Cambridge Colour Test (CCT): Trivector. Results: Performance on CCT differed between groups, and the observed pattern was that smokers had lower discrimination compared to non-smokers. In addition, deprived smokers presented lower discrimination to smokers and non-smokers. Contrary to expectation, the largest differences were observed for medium and long wavelengths. Conclusions: These results suggests that cigarette smoking, chronic exposure to its compounds, and withdrawal from nicotine affect color discrimination. This highlights the importance of understanding the diverse effects of nicotine on attentional bias.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-85/v3

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.10714.3

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