Age-Related Cataract Is Associated With Elevated Serum Immunoglobulin E Levels in the South Korean Population: A Cross-Sectional Study

PLoS One. 2016 Nov 18;11(11):e0166331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166331. eCollection 2016.


Background: Previous research has suggested that immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated events lead to several chronic diseases. We investigated the association between allergic conditions and age-related cataracts in the South Korean adult population.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using data obtained from 1,170 participants aged 40 years or older who were enrolled in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between age-related cataracts and allergic conditions, including total serum IgE and allergen-specific serum IgE levels, after adjustment for potential confounders (age, sex, alcohol consumption, smoking, sun exposure, blood pressure, plasma glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as histories of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and rheumatoid arthritis).

Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, the odds ratio (OR) for age-related cataract was greater in participants with higher total serum IgE levels (OR = 1.37; P = 0.044). In particular, increased IgE levels were significantly associated with nuclear cataract (OR = 1.42; P = 0.032). However, allergen-specific serum IgE levels did not differ significantly between groups. In the trend analysis, no significant relationship was observed between serum IgE and any type of age-related cataract.

Conclusion: Increased total serum IgE level is independently associated with age-related cataracts after adjustment for confounding factors.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Cataract / blood*
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Cataract / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin E

Grant support

This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: H I 15C2237).