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A. Taylor, P.F. Jacques, S.E. Hankinson, L.T. Chylack, W.C. Willett, M.S. Morris; Moderate Alcoholic Beverage Intake and Early Nuclear and Cortical Lens Opacities . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4463.
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Purpose: Relations between consumption of alcoholic beverages and lens opacification remain unclear. We examined associations between alcohol intake and early nuclear and cortical opacities among members of the Nutrition and Vision Project (NVP) subsample of the Nurse’s Health Study (NHS) cohort. Methods: The participants were 556 nondiabetic women aged 53-74 y from the Boston, MA area with intact lenses sampled from the NHS. Women reported alcoholic beverage intake via four mailed food-frequency questionnaires completed between 1980 and 1990. NVP participants underwent eye examinations including lens photography between 1993 and 1995. Results: After adjustment for age, previous cataract diagnosis, and vitamin C intake, the odds of a nuclear opacity grade >2.3 increased by 31% (95% CI, 11%-56%) per 10-g increase in intake of alcohol from all sources combined. Furthermore, after additional control for beer and wine intake, the odds of a higher nuclear opacity grade increased by 14% (95% CI, 5%-24%) for every two additional hard-alcoholic drinks consumed per week. Wine drinking was also positively, though non-significantly, related to nuclear opacity (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2), but beer drinking was not (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6-1.4). Neither hard-liquor intake nor beer drinking was associated with cortical opacity. However, after controlling for age, previous cataract diagnosis, body mass index, and intake of other alcoholic beverages, the odds of a cortical opacity grade >0.4 decreased by 10% (95% CI, 1%-18%) for every two additional glasses of wine consumed per week. Conclusions: In the NVP, consumption of alcoholic beverages, particularly consumption of drinks containing hard liquor, was positively related to nuclear opacity. Wine drinking was inversely related to cortical opacity.
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