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Int J Ophthalmol. 2012;5(4):493-8. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2012.04.17. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

Oxidative stress-elevated high gamma glutamyl transferase levels, and aging, intake of tropical food plants, migration and visual disability in Central Africans.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha 5117, Eastern Cape, South Africa.



To investigate the independent pathogenic role of high serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels, sociodemographic data, dietary and environmental risk factors for visual disability (VD).


This was a case-control study, run in 200 black Congolese patients managed in Saint Joseph Hospital Ophthalmology Division from Kinshasa town. Logistic regression model was used to identify determinants of VD (n=58) among sex, age, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, rural-urban migration, education levels, aging ≥60 years, intake of red Beans, Safou fruit and Taro leaves, lipid profile, residence, socioeconomic status, and GGT.


After adjusting for confounding factors, we identified migration (OR=3.7 95% CI: 1.2-11.3; P=0.023), low education level (OR=3.1 95% CI 1.1-8.5; P=0.026), no intake of Safou fruit (OR=34.2 95% CI 11.5-102; P<0.0001), age ≥ 60 years (OR=2.5 95% CI 1.01-6.5; P=0.049), and serum GGT ≥10 U/L (OR=3.6 95% CI 1.3-9.6; P=0.012) as the significant and independent determinants of VD.


VD appears as a major public health problem in Central Africa to be prevented or delayed by control of migration, lifestyle changes, antioxidant supplements, appropriate diet, nutrition education, and blocking of oxidative stress.


aging; intake of tropical food plants; oxidative stress; serum gamma-glutamyl transferase; vision loss

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