If you’ve been called smart just because you wear glasses, chances are there is some truth to it.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh shared their findings from a major study that found correlations between general cognitive function and genetic data. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Cognitive function, also known as general intelligence, covers mental processes such as reasoning, memory and verbal fluency.
The study involved 300,486 individuals between the ages of 16 and 102, whose intelligence was determined through cognitive tests.
Their analysis found 709 genes “significantly associated” with intelligence, and that there was “significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity”.
Those who had higher intelligence were 28 percent more likely to need a pair of glasses or contact lenses for their eyesight.
No explanation was given as to why better cognitive function leads to poor eyesight. Incidentally, a Gutenberg Health Study published in 2014 found that being short-sighted was linked to finishing higher levels of education.
However, being more intelligent bode well for other health issues, such as a lower chance of cardiovascular diseases (including heart attacks and chest pain), lung cancer and depression. It also reaffirmed previous studies that being more intelligent was connected to living longer.
If you have naturally good eyesight, there’s no reason to feel threatened. For one, there is more than one way to be intelligent—for instance, more studies are emerging on emotional intelligence. More importantly, you don’t have to go through the hassle of wearing frames on your face or popping on contact lenses. /ra