A British study finds that vegetarians and vegans have a lower risk for cataracts than meat eaters. Compared with the heaviest meat eaters in the study, vegetarians had a 30 to 40 percent lower cataract risk.
Eating a diet high in vegetables may lower the risk for cataracts.
The researchers followed 27,600 non-diabetics age 40 and older for a period as long as 15 years. At the end of the study, about three in 50 meat eaters had cataracts, versus about two in 50 vegans and vegetarians.
Moderate meat eaters had a slightly lower cataract risk than that of the heaviest meat eaters, who ate more than 3.5 ounces of meat each day. Fish eaters had a 15 percent lower cataract risk than that of the heaviest meat eaters.
The results do not prove that meat consumption promotes cataracts, according to the researchers. Rather, vegetables may have protective nutrients that lower cataract risk, as suggested by other studies. In addition, vegetarians may practice other healthy lifestyle behaviors that can contribute to a lower risk for cataracts.
The study was reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A new study finds that people with metabolic syndrome have a higher risk for cataracts. According to the study, metabolic syndrome is having at least three of the following: a high level of bad cholesterol; a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more; use of blood pressure medication or blood pressure of 130/85 or higher; and diabetes mellitus.
High blood pressure is associated with three cataract types, says study.
The researchers examined the association with three cataract types: nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular (PSC). They found that high blood pressure was linked to all three cataract types, and diabetes was associated with cortical and PSC cataracts.
Cortical cataracts were linked to high BMI, diabetes, high blood pressure and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Study participants with both diabetes and high blood pressure had a four times greater cataract risk.
The study was reported in January on the website for Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.
In addition to improving vision and quality of life for seniors with cataracts, cataract surgery also appears to reduce the number of auto accidents involving older people, according to a new study.
Cataract surgery may improve safety on the road and reduce the risk of auto crashes.
At the 2010 Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO), Jonathan Ng, MD, presented the results of a study of auto accident rates among Australians with cataracts in both eyes before and after cataract surgery
on their first eye.
A total of 27,827 patients age 60 and older who had cataract surgery between 1997 and 2006 were included in the study.
Data from the Western Australian Road Injury Database was obtained for all patients in the study to identify those who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident up to 12 months prior to and 12 months following their cataract surgery.
“We found cataract surgery reduced the frequency of all crashes by 12.6 percent,” Dr. Ng said in a press release issued by the AAO. The study also revealed that a majority of patients involved in automobile accidents were males between the ages of 70 and 79 who lived in metropolitan areas.
The study authors noted that in Australia and other countries, patients often have to wait weeks or months after cataracts are diagnosed to undergo cataract surgery. This study suggests that significant delays in obtaining cataract surgery affect not only the patients’ quality of life, but individual and public safety as well, they say.
The authors also say that additional research is needed to compare auto accident rates before and after cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation on the patients’ second eye.
Category: Cataract Risk
Here’s good news if you like to enjoy a daily libation: A new study suggests drinking one to two alcoholic beverages per day may reduce your risk of cataracts.
A daily glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage may reduce your risk of cataracts.
Researchers in Australia assessed whether alcohol consumption is associated with the long-term incidence of cataracts or cataract surgery.
A total of 2,564 adults ages 49 and older were examined at the beginning of the study and again after five and/or 10 years. Lens photographs were taken at each visit, and the presence of cataracts was evaluated using a standardized lens opacity grading system. Information about alcohol consumption was obtained via interviewer-administered questionnaires.
After adjusting for age, gender, smoking, diabetes, myopia, socio-economic status and steroid use, the researchers found a U-shaped association of alcohol consumption with the long-term risk of cataract surgery: Moderate consumption (one to two drinks per day) was associated with 50 percent lower cataract surgery incidence, compared with both abstinence and greater alcohol consumption (more than two drinks per day).
The study appears in the September 2010 issue of American Journal of Ophthalmology.