Intake of Vegetables and Fruits and the Risk of Cataract Incidence in a Japanese Population: The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study

J Epidemiol. 2021 Jan 5;31(1):21-29. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20190116. Epub 2019 Dec 14.


Background: Although the consumption of vegetables and fruits is reported to influence the risk of cataract, no prospective study of this association from Asia has yet appeared. Here, we investigated the association between vegetable and fruit intake and cataract incidence in a large-scale population-based prospective cohort study in Japan.

Methods: This study included 32,387 men and 39,333 women aged 45-74 years who had no past history of cataract and had completed a dietary questionnaire of the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Cohort Study. The incidence of cataract was evaluated after 5-year follow-up. We used multiple logistic regression analyses to estimate the sex-specific odds ratios (ORs), with adjustment for confounding factors.

Results: We identified 1,836 incident cataracts in 594 men and 1,242 women. In men, the OR for cataract was decreased with higher intake of vegetables (ORQ5 vs Q1, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-1.01; Ptrend across quartile categories = 0.03) and cruciferous vegetables (ORQ5 vs Q1, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.96; Ptrend = 0.02). In contrast, the OR for cataract was increased with higher intake of vegetables among women (ORQ5 vs Q1, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.06-1.53; Ptrend = 0.01). Green and yellow vegetable and fruit intake were not associated with cataract in either sex.

Conclusions: This study suggests that vegetables may reduce the risk of cataract in men, but not in women.

Keywords: cataract risk; food frequency questionnaire; food intake; prospective cohort study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Cataract / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Diet Surveys
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*