April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
Progression of Age-Related Cataracts in AREDS
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • E. B. Koo
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • J. Chang
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • E. Agron
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • T. Clemons
    EMMES Corporation, Rockville, Maryland
  • F. L. Ferris
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • E. Chew
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study Group
    Ophthalmology, NEI, Rockville, Maryland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  E.B. Koo, None; J. Chang, None; E. Agron, None; T. Clemons, None; F.L. Ferris, None; E. Chew, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI Intramural Research Program, and EK is supported by the Clinical Research Training Program, a public-private partnership supported jointly by the NIH and Pfizer Inc.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 4550. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      E. B. Koo, J. Chang, E. Agron, T. Clemons, F. L. Ferris, E. Chew, Age-Related Eye Disease Study Group; Progression of Age-Related Cataracts in AREDS. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):4550.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To investigate the long term progression of age-related cataract in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).


AREDS participants were evaluated for the cataract types of nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular (PSC) using a standardized grading scheme based on retroillumination and slit-lamp lens photographs taken at baseline, 2 years after enrollment, and annually thereafter. Primary outcome was cataract progression, defined as a type-specific opacity grade increase from a baseline cataract status of none or mild to a grade of clinically important cataract defined as either surgery for cataract or presence of "moderate cataract":≥4.0 for nuclear, ≥10% involvement within the full visible lens for cortical, and ≥5% involvement of the central 5-mm circle of the lens for PSC. Cox regression analysis was used to assess risk factor associations and adjusted progression rates for these cataract outcomes. The Wei-Lin-Weissfeld method was used to take into account the correlation between eyes.


This study was a clinic-based cohort of 4425 persons (8676 eyes) aged 55-80, with an average of 8.9± 2.9 years of follow up. The number of eyes with no or mild cataract available at baseline for analyses include: 7600 for nuclear, 7412 for cortical, and 8168 for PSC. All 8676 eyes were included in the cataract surgery analysis.The rates of cataract progression are displayed in the following table:  


Progression to moderate cataract or cataract surgery was highest in the oldest age group. Females had a higher rate of nuclear and cortical cataract progression compared with males. Males had a higher rate of PSC progression. The results of this study of three types of age-related cataract may provide rates of progression that are important in designing future epidemiologic studies and clinical trials of prevention and treatment of age-related cataracts.

Clinical Trial:

www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00000145

Keywords: cataract • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: natural history • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment 

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