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Obesity and Eye Diseases

Obesity and Cataract

Obesity has been proposed to be a risk factor for cataract development, though the exact underlying mechanisms are unclear. The relationship between obesity and cataract has been investigated in many epidemiological studies, but the findings are not universally consistent. The strongest evidence are based on prospective data from several large population-based studies demonstrating positive association between obesity and cataract.

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In 1995 and 2000, the Physicians’ Health Study, a randomized trial of healthy male American physicians aged 40–84 years, reported both overall obesity, measured as BMI, and abdominal adiposity, measured as waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), as independent risk factors for cataract. It was found that at any given level of BMI, a 2-unit higher level predicted a 12% increase risk of cataract. The Nurses’ Health Study, a large prospective study of female nurses in 1993, also found a higher rate of cataract surgery for women with BMI levels of 23 or greater compared to women with lower levels.

Subsequently, the Nurses’ Health and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study generated further results, reporting that obesity increases risk of cataract overall, but in particular, of posterior subcapsular (PSC) type, even after adjusting for variables such as smoking, age and diabetes. Prospective data from the Framingham Eye Study also demonstrates an independent association between greater BMI and higher incident of cortical and PSC opacities. Further support on the positive association between obesity and cataract is derived from cross-sectional data from other population-based, and hospital-based studies,, although not all studies have been consistent. For example, using standardized photography to grade lens opacities, the Beaver Dam Eye Study, a cohort study of almost 5000 white Americans, found no significant associations of obesity with either incident cataract or cataract extraction at the baseline or the 5-year follow-up examination. Nonetheless, 10-year prospective data from this study showed an association between higher BMI and increased risk of PSC cataract in persons without diabetes..

Source: ncbi

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