Older-onset diabetes and lens opacities. The Beaver Dam Eye Study

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 1995 Mar;2(1):49-55. doi: 10.3109/09286589509071451.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of lens opacities in older-onset diabetic persons.

Methods: A study of age-related eye disease in a population (n = 4926) of adults in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Study participants were examined and interviewed according to protocol. Photographs were taken of the lenses of both eyes of all study participants. Photographs were graded in a standard fashion. Diabetes was defined by history, doctors' records and serum glucose criteria.

Results: Persons who were diabetic were significantly more likely to have cortical lens opacities (age-adjusted odds ratio 1.72, 95% CI 1.29-2.30 for right eyes) and were more likely to have previously undergone cataract surgery (age-adjusted odds ratio 2.01, 95% CI 1.43-2.82 for either eye) than people without diabetes. Longer duration of diabetes significantly increased the odds of having cortical opacity.

Conclusion: Older-onset diabetes is associated with increased frequency of a specific age-related lens change, cortical opacity. It is also associated with increased frequency of cataract surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Cortex, Crystalline / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Photography
  • Prevalence
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology