Risk Factors for Incident Cortical, Nuclear, Posterior Subcapsular, and Mixed Lens Opacities:
The Los Angeles Latino Eye Study shows that better management of diabetes and not smoking may lower the risk of developing nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular lens opacities (cataracts).
Of the 3471 participants with gradable lenses in the same eye at baseline and 4-year follow-up, 200 (5.8%) had incident nuclear-only opacities, 151 (4.1%) had incident cortical-only opacities, 16 (0.5%) had incident PSC-only lens opacities, and 88 (2.5%) had mixed lens opacities. Independent baseline risk factors for incident nuclear-only lens opacities included older age, current smoking, and presence of diabetes. Independent risk factors for incident cortical-only lens opacities included older age and having diabetes at baseline. Female gender was an independent risk factor for incident PSC-only lens opacities. Older age and presence of diabetes at baseline examination were independent risk factors for incident mixed lens opacities. Specifically, in diabetics, higher levels of hemoglobin A1c was associated with greater risk for 4-year incident nuclear-only, cortical-only and mixed lens opacities.
Improved diabetic control and smoking prevention may reduce the risk of developing lens opacities. Understanding both modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors provides insight into the development of lens opacification.
Cynthia Matossian, MD