Ultraviolet light exposure and lens opacities: the Beaver Dam Eye Study.

PubMed ID: 1456342

Author(s): Cruickshanks KJ, Klein BE, Klein R. Ultraviolet light exposure and lens opacities: the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Am J Public Health. 1992 Dec;82(12):1658-62. PMID 1456342

Journal: American Journal Of Public Health, Volume 82, Issue 12, Dec 1992

OBJECTIVES Exposure to sunlight may be a risk factor for the development of cataract. The relationships between exposure to sunlight and to the ultraviolet-B (UVB) component of light and the prevalence of lens opacities were examined in the Beaver Dam Eye Study.

METHODS Persons 43 to 84 years of age residing in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, were examined using standardized photographic assessments of lens opacities. A questionnaire about medical history and exposure to light was administered.

RESULTS After adjusting for other risk factors, men who had higher levels of average annual ambient UVB light were 1.36 times more likely to have more severe cortical opacities than men with lower levels. However, UVB exposure was not found to be associated with nuclear sclerosis or posterior subcapsular opacities in men. Moreover, no associations with UVB exposure were found for women, who were less likely to be exposed to UVB.

CONCLUSIONS Exposure to UVB light may be associated with the severity of cortical opacities in men. However, the lack of an association in women, the group more likely to have cortical opacities, suggests that other factors may be more important in the pathogenesis of lens opacities.