Researchers Examine How Diet, Medications Affect Cataract Development

HealthDay (6/14, Preidt) reported that, according to two studies published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, “a healthy diet helps guard against cataracts, while certain medications raise the risks of this common cause of vision loss.” In a study of 1,808 middle-aged and elderly women, researchers found that those “who eat foods that contain high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals may be less likely to develop nuclear cataract.” Meanwhile, a second study “found that medications that increase sensitivity to the sun — including antidepressants, diuretics, antibiotics, and the pain reliever naproxen sodium (commonly sold over-the-counter as Aleve) — increase the risk of age-related cataract.”
WebMD (6/14, Woznicki) reported that in the first study, “the healthy diet linked to this reduced risk featured high quantities of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, such as beans, fish, eggs, and low quantities of salt and fat.” Notably, “taking multivitamin supplements did not appear to affect cataract risk.” The investigators pointed out, however, “that cataract risk was not ‘driven by any single dimension of diet.'”
“Higher prevalence of cataracts in women was also associated with other modifiable factors, such as smoking and obesity, and with nonmodifiable factors, such as brown eyes, myopia, and high pulse pressure,” MedPage Today (6/14, Frieden) reported. Still, “diet was the strongest risk factor related to reduced risk of nuclear cataract in this sample of postmenopausal women,” the study “authors noted,” adding, “Lifestyle improvements that include healthy diets, smoking cessation, and avoiding obesity may substantively lower the need for and economic burden of cataract surgery in aging American women.”
Reuters (6/15, Lowe) reports that in the second study, researchers followed 2,119 men over the course of 15 years and discovered that those who took naproxen, glyburide (a diabetes medicine), ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic), amitriptyline (an antidepressant), and hydrochlorothiazide (an antihypertensive) had a 26 percent likelihood of developing cortical cataracts, compared to 22 percent of men who did not use these medicines. The UK’s Press Association (6/15) also covers the story.

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2 Responses

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  2. The Potential Of Nutrition To Save Sight…

    While 20/20 vision is a symbol of visual acuity, between now and the year 2020, more and more people will experience some extent of vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-robbing diseases.Now, Agricultural Research Se…

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