May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
The Prevalence of Cataract in a Light Protected Community
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • G. Silvestri
    Centre for Vision Science, Queen's University & Royal Hospitals, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • E. Moore
    Centre for Vision Science, Royal Hospitals, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • V. Silvestri
    Centre for Vision Science, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • M. E. Boulton
    Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  G. Silvestri, None; E. Moore, None; V. Silvestri, None; M.E. Boulton, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  HPSSNI R&D RRG 4.41
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 1929. doi:
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      G. Silvestri, E. Moore, V. Silvestri, M. E. Boulton; The Prevalence of Cataract in a Light Protected Community. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1929.

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

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Purpose: : Age-related lens opacities are the most common cause of age-related disease and increase markedly with age. The prevalence of lens opacities in the data collated by the Eye Diseases Prevalence Group (EDPG) reported that 17.2% of Americans over 40 years of age had cataract in either eye and that 5.1% had pseudophakia/aphakia. The Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES) reported the prevalence of lens opacities in people over 75 years of age to be as follows: cortical opacities 42.4% and posterior subcapsular opacity 14.3%. Cataract surgery rates were 11.6%. This study seeks to assess the prevalence of cataract in a light-protected community, the hypothesis being that the prevalence will be less than in the general population.

Methods: : Fundus reflex (FR) colour photographs captured on a Nidek AFC-210 fundus camera and retroillumination lens photographs captured on a Neitz CT-R Cataract Camera of 100 volunteers (200 eyes) from a light protected community, were graded to assess the presence of cataract. This group forms part of a large epidemiological cohort study of 1500 participants from a light-protected population (recruitment is ongoing). Two non-stereoscopic photographs were taken with the Neitz CT-R Cataract Camera (according to the AREDS lens grading protocol) through well dilated pupils, one focussed on the iris (corresponding to the anterior cortex of the lens) and one focussed 3-5 mms more posteriorly (at or near the posterior capsule). The images from the Neitz CT-R Cataract Camera were graded in conjunction with the colour images to classify and assess the amount of posterior sub-capsular (PSC) and cortical (CO) cataract present. All images were anonymized and were graded according to the AREDS lens grading protocol in a masked fashion with eyes from the same patient not being graded sequentially.

Results: : Cortical lens opacities affecting at least 5% of the lens, were present in 23.3% of the population. Posterior subcapsular lens opacities involving at least 5% of the lens were present in 13.3% of the cohort. Pseudophakia/aphakia was present in 10% of the population.

Conclusions: : The preliminary results in a subgroup of participants in a light-protected cohort appear to indicate that the prevalence rate of cortical and posterior subcapsular lens opacities may be slightly less in this group. Other potential confounding factors such as diet and hormonal load are also being investigated.

Keywords: cataract • radiation damage: light/UV 

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