Indian Journal of Ophthalmology (Jan 1998)

Risk factors for cataract: A case control study

  • Ughade Suresh,
  • Zodpey Sanjay,
  • Khanolkar Vandana

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 46, no. 4
pp. 221 – 227


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The present study was designed as a hospital-based, group-matched, case-control investigation into the risk factors associated with age-related cataract in central India. The study included 262 cases of age-related cataract and an equal number of controls. A total of 21 risk factors were evaluated: namely, low socioeconomic status (SES), illiteracy, marital status, history of diarrhoea, history of diabetes, glaucoma, use of cholinesterase inhibitors, steroids, spironolactone, nifedipine, analgesics, myopia early in life, renal failure, heavy smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, hypertension, low body mass index (BMI), use of cheaper cooking fuel, working in direct sunlight, family history of cataract, and occupational exposure. In univariate analysis, except marital status, low BMI, renal failure, use of steroids, spironolactone, analgesics, and occupational exposure, all 14 other risk factors were found significantly associated with age-related cataract. Unconditional multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed the significance of low SES, illiteracy, history of diarrhoea, diabetes, glaucoma, myopia, smoking, hypertension and cheap cooking fuel. The etiological role of these risk factors in the outcome of cataract is confirmed by the estimates of attributable risk proportion. The estimates of population attributable risk proportion for these factors highlight the impact of elimination of these risk factors on the reduction of cataract in this population.