Long-term nutrient intake and 5-year change in nuclear lens opacities

Department of Nutrition , Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Archives of Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 4.4). 04/2005; 123(4):517-26. DOI: 10.1001/archopht.123.4.517
Source: PubMed


To determine if usual nutrient intake is related to a 5-year change in the amount of lens nuclear opacification assessed by computer-assisted image analysis.
A sample of 408 Boston, Mass-area women from the Nurses' Health Study aged 52 to 74 years at baseline participated in a 5-year study related to nutrition and vision. Usual nutrient intake was calculated as the average intake from 5 food frequency questionnaires that were collected over a 13- to 15-year period before the baseline evaluation of lens nuclear density. Duration of vitamin supplement use before baseline was determined from 7 questionnaires collected during this same period. We assessed the degree of nuclear density (opacification) using computer-assisted image analysis of digital lens images with amount of nuclear density measured as a function of average pixel gray scale, ranging from 0 (clear) to 255 (black).
Median (range) baseline and follow-up nuclear densities were 44 (19 to 102) and 63 (32 to 213). The median (range) 5-year change in nuclear density was 18 (-29 to 134) and was positively correlated with the amount of opacification at baseline (Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.35; P<.001). Geometric mean 5-year change in nuclear density was inversely associated with the intake of riboflavin (P trend = .03) and thiamin (P trend = .04) and duration of vitamin E supplement use (P trend = .006).
Our results suggest that long-term use of vitamin E supplements and higher riboflavin and/or thiamin intake may reduce the progression of age-related lens opacification.

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    • "A cross-sectional study of 2,900 Australian men and women, 49 years of age and older, found that those in the highest quintile of thiamine intake were 40% less likely to have nuclear cataracts than those in the lowest quintile (Cumming et al. 2000). In addition, a recent study of 408 U.S. women found that higher dietary intakes of thiamine were inversely associated with 5-year change in lens opacification (Jacques et al. 2005). High dose thiamine therapy may also help reverse microalbuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes (Rabbani et al. 2009). "
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    • "In another study, Vitamin E supplementation was also found to have no effect on cataract formation (McNeil et al., 2004). In contrast Jacques et al. (2005), Chylack et al. (2002) and Valero et al. (2002), reported that vitamin E supplementation reduced the progression of age-related lens opacification . Vitamin E was also included, along with vitamin C, in the ideal ocular nutritional supplement proposed by Bartlett and Eperjesi (2004a). "
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    Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics 02/2008; 28(1):1-12. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-1313.2007.00531.x · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    • "P for trend ¼ 0.04) in men but not women with the highest vs. lowest a-carotene intake but found a 2.62 times increased rate of cataract (RR ¼ 2.62; CI ¼ 1.12e6.13) in women but not men with the highest vs. lowest serum a-carotene level in a retrospective study of 400 subjects. The remaining five studies showed no effect (Chasan-Taber et al., 1999b; Jacques et al., 2001, 2005; Lyle et al., 1999a, b) (Fig. 7a). "
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