Objective: Whether vitamin A and β-carotene as nutrients are protective factors against cataracts remains unclear. Thus, the aim of this study was to summarize the evidence from epidemiologic studies of vitamin A and β-carotene with the risk for cataract.
Methods: Pertinent studies were identified by a search of PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Wan Fang Med Online. A fixed- or random-effects model was used based on heterogeneity test. Meta-regression and "leave-one-out" analysis were used to explore potential sources of between-study heterogeneity. Publication bias was estimated using Egger's regression asymmetry test.
Results: Twenty-two articles were included in this meta-analysis. The relative risk (RR; 95% confidence interval [CI]) for cataract for the highest versus lowest category of serum β-carotene levels was 0.827 (95% CI, 0.736-0.930), and the association was significant between β-carotene intake and cataract risk (RR, 0.937; 95% CI, 0.880-0.997). Significant association of cataract risk with vitamin A intake was found overall (RR, 0.831; 95% CI, 0.757-0.913). However, no significant association was found between serum vitamin A and cataract risk (RR, 0.925; 95% CI, 0.675-1.266; I(2) = 63.1%), but an inverse association was observed with risk for cataract with serum vitamin A after sensitivity analysis (RR, 0.765; 95% CI, 0.654-0.894; I(2) = 29.1%).
Conclusions: Greater vitamin A and β-carotene intakes might be inversely associated with risk for cataract.
Keywords: Cataract; Meta-analysis; Vitamin A; β-carotene.
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