A study evaluated the association between different amounts of alcohol consumption and the risk of agerelated cataract.
Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as more than two standard drinks per day, which is equal to a daily intake of 20 g of alcohol or 140 g per week. Moderate consumption was defined as less than 20 g of alcohol per day but more than never any.
Researchers searched for studies with data on alcohol consumption and age-related cataract. Five case-control and five cohort studies were identified through comprehensive literature search of PubMed and Embase.
In the meta-analysis of 10 studies, the associations between moderate alcohol consumption and agerelated cataract were marginally nonsignificant (pooled relative risk, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.05; I2 = 82.1%), whereas heavy alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of age-related cataract (pooled relative risk, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.50; I2 = 58.9%). The association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract was stronger in case-control than in cohort studies. Adjusting for smoking as a potential confounder attenuated the association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract.
The authors conclude that heavy alcohol consumption significantly increased the risk of agerelated cataract, whereas moderate consumption may be protective for this ocular condition. Clinically, information on a patient’s alcohol drinking history might be valuable to general physicians and ophthalmologists when there is a diagnosis of agerelated cataract and should be collected on a routine basis in eye clinics.
Source: Different amounts of alcohol consumption and cataract: a meta-analysis Gong Y; Feng K; Yan N; Xu Y; Pan CW, Optometry and Vision Science. Vol 92, No 4, 2015, pp471-479.