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Int J Ophthalmol. 2012;5(2):231-7. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2012.02.23. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Role of Mediterranean diet, tropical vegetables rich in antioxidants, and sunlight exposure in blindness, cataract and glaucoma among African type 2 diabetics.

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1
University of Kinshasa, Department of Ophthalmology.

Abstract

AIM:

To assess whether regular Mediterranean diet and regular intake of vegetables may reduce the risk of blindness, cataract, and glaucoma in these type 2 diabetics.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional design was carried out among known black diabetics admitted at the diabetic clinics of Kinshasa, between October 2008 and March 2009. The Mediterranean-style dietary score (MSDPS) was used to characterize a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern in the study population using the Harvard semi quantitative FFQ adapted for Africa.

RESULTS:

Five hundred Type 2 diabetic patients were included in this study (48% of males; 40% aged ≥60 years). There was a significant association between blindness, cataract and aging; between blindness (P<0.05), cataract (P<0.05), glaucoma (P<0.05), and physical inactivity; between blindness (P<0.05), cataract (P<0.0001), glaucoma (P<0.01) and high SES, and a very significant association between blindness (P<0.0001), cataract (P<0.0001), glaucoma (P<0.0001) and exposure to sunlight. There was also a significant association between blindness, glaucoma, and male sex. Regular intake of Mediterranean diet, Brassica Rapa, beans, Abelmoschus, Musa acuminata reduced significantly the risk of blindness, cataract and glaucoma.

CONCLUSION:

Regular intake of Mediterranean diet, Brassica Rapa, beans, Abelmoschus, and Musa acuminata may significantly reduce the risk of blindness or its major causes among type 2 diabetes mellitus in Africa.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; Mediterranean diet; blindness; cataract; type 2 diabetes mellitus

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