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Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Jul;119(7):1009-19.

Long-term nutrient intake and early age-related nuclear lens opacities.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision, Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, 711 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the relation between usual nutrient intake and subsequently diagnosed age-related nuclear lens opacities.

SUBJECTS:

Four hundred seventy-eight nondiabetic women aged 53 to 73 years from the Boston, Mass, area without previously diagnosed cataracts sampled from the Nurses' Health Study cohort.

METHODS:

Usual nutrient intake was calculated as the average intake from 5 food frequency questionnaires that were collected during a 13- to 15-year period before the evaluation of lens opacities. The duration of vitamin supplement use was determined from 7 questionnaires collected during this same period. We defined nuclear opacities as a nuclear opalescence grade of 2.5 or higher using the Lens Opacification Classification System III.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of nuclear opacification was significantly lower in the highest nutrient intake quintile category relative to the lowest quintile category for vitamin C (P<.001), vitamin E (P =.02), riboflavin (P =.005), folate (P =.009), beta-carotene (P =.04), and lutein/zeaxanthin (P =.03). After adjustment for other nutrients, only vitamin C intake remained significantly associated (P =.003 for trend) with the prevalence of nuclear opacities. The prevalence of nuclear opacities was significantly lower (P<.001) in the highest vitamin C intake quintile category relative to the lowest quintile category (odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.58). There were also statistically significant trends of decreasing prevalence of nuclear opacities with increasing duration of use of vitamin C (P =.004 for trend), vitamin E (P =.03 for trend), and multivitamin (P =.04 for trend) supplements, but only duration of vitamin C supplement use remained significantly associated with nuclear opacities after mutual adjustment for use of vitamin E (P =.05 for trend) or multivitamin (P =.02 for trend) supplements. The prevalence of nuclear opacities was significantly lower (P =.004) for women who used a vitamin C supplement for 10 or more years relative to women who never used vitamin C supplements (odds ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.72). Plasma measures of vitamins C and E taken at the eye examination were also inversely associated with the prevalence of nuclear opacities.

CONCLUSION:

These results provide additional evidence that antioxidant nutrients play a role in the prevention of age-related nuclear lens opacities.

PMID:
11448323
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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