Five-year incidence of cataract in older persons with diabetes and pre-diabetes

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2004 Oct;11(4):271-7. doi: 10.1080/09286580490510733.


Purpose: To investigate longitudinal associations between diabetes and the 5-year incidence of cataract and cataract surgery. (A population-based, cohort study of 2335 persons with baseline ages 49 years or older resident in the Blue Mountains region, west of Sydney, Australia).

Methods: Baseline information on diabetes history was collected during an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) was defined as venous plasma glucose between 6.0 and 7.0 mmol/L and newly diagnosed diabetes as plasma glucose >7.0 mmol/L, using fasting blood glucose measurements taken at baseline. Retroillumination lens photographs from the baseline and 5-year follow-up examinations were graded for presence of cortical, posterior subcapsular (PSC) and nuclear cataract.

Results: We found a 2-fold higher 5-year incidence of cortical cataract in participants with IFG, multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-4.1. Incident PSC cataract was more frequent among persons with diabetes, but this association was statistically significant only for those with newly diagnosed diabetes, multivariate adjusted OR 4.5 (CI 1.5-13.0). There were no statistically significant associations found between incident nuclear cataract or cataract surgery and either diabetes or IFG.

Conclusions: These epidemiological data suggest that IFG, a pre-diabetic condition, may be a risk factor for the development of cortical cataract.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / diagnosis
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors