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J R Evans, A Rauf, A Aihie Sayer, R P Wormald, C Cooper; Age-related nuclear lens opacities are associated with reduced growth before 1 year of age.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(9):1740-1744.
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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fetal and infant growth, as measured by birthweight and weight at 1 year and the development of age-related lens opacities. METHODS: A total of 1428 men and women who were born in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, between 1920 and 1930, and for whom records of birthweight and weight at 1 year were available, were traced and invited for examination. Of these, 717 (50%) attended for ophthalmic examination. After dilation with tropicamide 1%, lens opacities were graded using the Lens Opacities Classification System (LOCS) III. RESULTS: In this population of English men and women aged 64 to 74 years, most opacities were of the nuclear type. There was no association between birthweight and nuclear lens opacities. Weight at 1 year was negatively correlated with nuclear opacity score in adult life (P=0.001). Subjects in the highest tertile for weight at 1 year (>23 pounds) had an odds ratio of 0.35 (95% confidence interval, 0.17 to 0.74) for having a significant nuclear lens opacity (LOCS score of > or = 3) compared with people in the lowest tertile for weight at 1 year (<21 pounds). This association remained after controlling for age, sex, smoking, social class, adult height, and diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first time that such an association has been reported; it needs to be replicated in other populations. It could provide part of the explanation for the observed excess risk of cataract in developing countries.
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