People who wear glasses more likely to be intelligent, study

It's actually true.

girl wearing glass
girl wearing glass Image: Shutterstock

In a competitive world, glasses can also prove a psychological tool in making their wearers more distinctive. Glasses shroud some of the more naked facial features that reveal the nuanced signs of a person’s personality and effect.

A new study by the University of Edinburgh, suggests that there might be a positive correlation between poor eyesight and higher levels of intelligence. Scientists explored how an individual’s hereditary traits may impact their cognitive function.

Scientists volunteered 300,486 individuals aged between 16 and 102 for the study. All the volunteers had been collated by the UK Biobank and the Charge and Cogent consortia.

Genetic statistician Gail Davies from the University of Edinburgh in the UK said, “This study, the largest genetic study of cognitive function, has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills.”

“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.”

All the volunteers were asked to submit their DNA samples, answer the questionnaires, and underwent tests designed to give a measure of their general cognitive ability.

Analyzing the genetic data, scientists found that 148 genome-wide regions associated with a general cognitive function, including 58 genomic sites that hadn’t previously been linked with intelligence.

They also found 42 genome-wide loci linked to reaction time, 40 of which are new to science.

In the study, the participants from the three existing cohorts were all of the European ancestries and aged between 16 and 102, and among this group, those who exhibited higher intelligence were 28 percent more likely to need glasses or contact lenses and 32 percent more likely to be shortsighted.

A number of other health factors also turned up in the data. In addition to being more likely to wear glasses, intelligent people were significantly less likely to experience hypertension, heart attack, angina, lung cancer or osteoarthritis.

They were also 30 percent less likely to experience a major depressive disorder, and 17 percent more likely to live longer.

Professor Ian Deary said, “Research into the connection between genetics and intelligence has come a long way in recent years.”

“Less than a decade ago we were searching for genes related to intelligence with about 3,000 participants, and we found almost nothing.”

“Now with 100 times that number of participants, and with more than 200 scientists working together, we have discovered almost 150 genetic regions that are related to how clever people are.”

The study is reported in the journal Nature.