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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2017 Oct;24(5):281-286. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2017.1281427. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Age-Related Cataract.

Park S1,2, Choi NK3,4,5.

Author information

a Center for International Health Research, Rhode Island Hospital , The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University , Providence , RI , USA.
b Department of Pediatrics , The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University , Providence , RI , USA.
c Institute of Environmental Medicine , Seoul National University Medical Research Center , Seoul , Republic of Korea.
d Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics , Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School , Boston , MA , USA.
e Department of Health Convergence , Ewha Womans University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.



Cataract and insufficient vitamin D intake are both increasing worldwide concerns, yet little is known about the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and age-related cataract. We performed this study to determine the association between serum 25(OH)D levels and age-related cataract in adults.


Study participants comprised 16,086 adults aged 40 years or older who had never been diagnosed with or undergone surgery for cataract using Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2008 to 2012. Participants were assessed to have cataract when diagnosed with cortical, nuclear, anterior subcapsular, posterior subcapsular, or mixed cataract. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the magnitude and significance of the association between serum 25(OH)D levels and cataract in multivariable logistic regression models.


The OR for nuclear cataract with the highest quintile of serum 25(OH)D levels was 0.86 (95% CI 0.75-0.99) compared to the lowest quintile. A linear trend across quintiles was significant. Natural log-transformed serum 25(OH)D levels were also significantly associated with nuclear cataract (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75-0.95). The opulation-attributable fraction of nuclear cataract due to serum 25(OH)D insufficiency (<30 ng/mL) was 8.8% (p = 0.048).


Serum 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with the risk of nuclear cataract. Prospective studies investigating the effects of serum 25(OH)D levels on the development of nuclear cataract are needed to confirm our findings.


25(OH)D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; cataract; eye; vitamin D

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