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N. Jain, J.P. SanGiovanni, E.Y. Chew, E. Agron, G.F. Reed, R.D. Sperduto, T.E. Clemons, J.M. Seddon, F.L. Ferris, AREDS Research Group; Dietary Carotenoids and Cataract in the Age–Related Eye Disease Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):4131.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine the association between dietary carotenoid intake and cataract prevalence, type, and severity.
The 4477 people in this analysis were 60 to 80 years of age at enrollment, had at least 1 natural lens, and best–corrected visual acuity of 20/32 or better in at least one eye. The AREDS System for Classifying Cataracts was used to assess cataract type and severity from slit lamp and retro–illumination photographs. The cataract classification scheme used in this report is described in AREDS Report 5 (Ophthalmol. 2001;108:1400–8). Nutrient intake was estimated from responses to a validated food frequency questionnaire administered at enrollment; the lowest quintile of intake represented the referent group for other quintiles. Nutrient intake estimates were energy–adjusted using the nutrient density model. Standardized questionnaires yielded demographic, lifestyle, medical, and ocular data. We used repeated measures multiple logistic regression to evaluate the relationship of major dietary carotenoids (α– and ß–carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin (L/Z), lycopene (LYC), ß–cryptoxanthin(CRYP)) with cortical and nuclear cataract. People with moderate and mild cataract were compared to those with no cataract. There were 615 and 2044 persons with moderate and mild nuclear cataract, respectively; 1818 had none. There were 1068 and 2601 persons with moderate and mild cortical cataract, respectively; 808 had none.
After statistically controlling for non–nutrient covariates, the likelihood of moderate and mild cortical cataract was significantly decreased among participants reporting highest consumption of lutein/zeaxanthin (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.5–0.9 for both conditions). Subjects reporting highest intake of lycopene had a 30% and 20% lower likelihood of moderate (95% CI 0.5–0.98) and mild (95% CI 0.5–0.95) nuclear cataract, respectively. Dietary cryptoxanthin showed a similar direction and magnitude of effect for moderate nuclear cataract.
Our results suggest that there is an association of certain carotenoids with lens opacity. Highest dietary L/Z intake was associated with a 30% reduced likelihood of having moderate or mild cortical opacity. Highest dietary LYC and CRYP intake were associated with a 20% to 30% lower likelihood of nuclear opacity.
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