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Ophthalmology. 2001 Nov;108(11):1992-8.

Plasma antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and age-related cataract.

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1
MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, Hants, England.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relationships between plasma concentrations of antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataracts in a group of elderly men and women.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three hundred seventy-two men and women, aged 66 to 75 years, born and still living in Sheffield, England.

METHODS:

The Lens Opacities Classification System (LOCS) III was used to grade nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular lens opacities. Fasting blood samples were taken to assess plasma concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Logistic regression analyses of the associations between plasma vitamin concentrations and cataract subtype, adjusting for age, gender, and other risk factors.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for age, gender, and other risk factors, risk of nuclear cataract was lowest in people with the highest plasma concentrations of alpha-carotene (odds ratio [OR], 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3-0.9, P for trend 0.006) or beta-carotene (OR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.4-1.4, P for trend 0.033). Risk of cortical cataract was lowest in people with the highest plasma concentrations of lycopene (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.8, P for trend 0.003), and risk of posterior subcapsular cataract was lowest in those with higher concentrations of lutein (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.2-1.0, P for trend 0.012). High plasma concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin E, or the carotenoids zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin were not associated with decreased risk.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that a diet rich in carotenoids may protect against cataract development, but because they are based on observational data, they need to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials.

PMID:
11713067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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