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Acta Ophthalmol. 2016 May;94(3):e170-6. doi: 10.1111/aos.12688. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

Association of vitamin C with the risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Artillery General Hospital, Beijing, China.



Whether vitamin C is a protective factor for age-related cataract remains unclear. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the evidence from epidemiological studies of vitamin C and the risk of age-related cataract.


Pertinent studies were identified by searching in PubMed and in Webscience. The random effect model was used to combine the results. Meta-regression and subgroups analyses were used to explore potential sources of between-study heterogeneity. Publication bias was estimated using Egger's regression asymmetry test.


Finally, 15 articles with 20 studies for vitamin C intake and eight articles with 10 studies for serum ascorbate were included in this meta-analysis. The relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval of cataract for the highest versus the lowest category of vitamin C intake was 0.814 (0.707-0.938), and the associations were significant in America and Asia. Significant association of cataract risk with highest versus the lowest category of serum ascorbate was found in general [0.704 (0.564-0.879)]. Inverse associations were also found between serum ascorbate and nuclear cataract and posterior subcapsular cataract.


Higher vitamin C intake and serum ascorbate might be inversely associated with risk of cataract. Vitamin C intake should be advocated for the primary prevention of cataract.


age-related cataract; meta-analysis; serum ascorbate; vitamin C

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