Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, according to a major study published in the journal Nature Communications. The study,the largest of its kind ever conducted, has found that needing to wear glasses is associated with higher levels of intelligence.
In the study, researchers from the University of Edinburgh analyzed cognitive and genetic data from over 300,000 people aged between 16 and 102 (all of European ancestry) that had been gathered by the UK Biobank and the Charge and Cogent consortia.
Their analysis found “significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity”.
“This study, the largest genetic study of cognitive function, has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills,” says genetic statistician Gail Davies from the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
Specifically, people who were more intelligent were almost 30% more likely to have genes which might indicate they’d need to wear glasses.
While old stereotypes about glasses wearers being smarter are based upon the unsupported assumption that geeky types require optical assistance after straining their eyes through excessive reading, the new data suggests there isn’t such a simple case of cause and effect.
Suicide can’t be predicted by asking about suicidal thoughts : Study
Most people who died of suicide deny they experience suicidal thoughts when asked by doctors in the weeks and months leading up to their death, a major Australian study has found.
The findings, co-authored by clinical psychiatrist and Professor Matthew Large from UNSW’s School of Psychiatry, Sydney that published in the journal BJPsych Open The meta-analysis challenge the widely-held assumption that psychiatrists can predict who will suicide by asking if they are preoccupied with thoughts of killing themselves.
The study showed that 80% of patients who were not undergoing psychiatric treatment and who died of suicide reported not to have suicidal thoughts when asked by their psychiatrist or GP.
“If you meet someone who has suicidal ideation there is a 98 per cent chance that they are not going to suicide,” said Professor Large, an international expert on suicide risk assessment who also works in the emergency department of a major Sydney hospital.
“But what we didn’t know was how frequently people who go on to suicide have denied having suicidal thoughts when asked directly,” he added.
“This study proves we can no longer ration psychiatric care based on the presence of suicidal thoughts alone. We need to provide high-quality, patient-centred care for everyone experiencing mental illness, whether or not they reveal they are experiencing suicidal thoughts,” Professor Large said.
About one in 10 people will have suicidal ideation in their lifetime. But the study showed suicidal ideation alone was not rational grounds for deciding who gets treatment and who does not, Professor Large said.
“We know that suicide feeling is pretty common and that suicide is actually a rare event, even among people with severe mental illness,” Professor Large added.
Suicidal ideation tells us an awful lot about how a person is feeling, their psychological distress, sometimes their diagnosis and their need for treatment but it’s not a meaningful test of future behaviour.
Suicidal feelings can fluctuate rapidly and people may suicide very impulsively after only a short period of suicidal thoughts.
But, people had good reasons not to disclose thoughts of suicide, fearing stigma, triggering over-reactions or upsetting family and friends, and being involuntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment, Professor Large said.
Professor Large emphasized that clinicians should not assume that patients experiencing mental distress without reporting suicidal ideas were not at elevated risk of suicide.