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Barbara Klein, Chelsea Myers, Karen Cruickshanks, Kristine Lee, Ronald Klein; Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Markers and the 20-Year Cumulative Incidence of Age-Related Cataract: the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):897. doi: https://doi.org/.
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To determine whether inflammatory and oxidative stress markers are associated with the 20-year cumulative incidence of types of age-related cataract.
A randomized sample (N=1597) of the Beaver Dam Eye Study cohort was identified for assessment of 4 inflammatory markers (serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein [CRP], tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and white blood cell [WBC] count) and 2 oxidative stress markers (serum isoprostane and total carbonyl content) at baseline, and were examined at 4 follow-up exams spaced 5 years apart. Age-related cataract was assessed from photographs of the lens.
The 20-year cumulative incidence of any cataract was 54.1% and was 35.3%, 11.7% and 29.9% for nuclear, posterior subcapsular cataract and cortical cataract, respectively. After adjusting for age and sex, TNF-α (results reported as odds ratio for trend per quartile, 95% confidence interval, P value; 1.23, 1.09-1.38, P=0.0005) and IL-6 (1.27, 1.15-1.41, P<0.0001) were associated with the incidence of any cataract. Stratifying by cataract type, IL-6 was significantly associated with the incidence of nuclear cataract (1.15, 1.03-1.29, P=0.016); both IL-6 (1.24, 1.10-1.40, P=0.0004) and WBC count (1.18, 1.05-1.32, P=0.006) were associated with the incidence of cortical cataract; CRP (1.25, 1.05-1.48, P=0.01) was associated with the incidence of posterior subcapsular cataract. Odds ratios and significance levels were nearly identical after further adjustment for other potential confounders.
Our findings provide modest support for an association between markers of inflammation and the incidence of age-related cataract over 20 years. It is possible that more specific information on the cause of systemic inflammation would be useful in understanding these relationships.
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