Genetic factors, vitamin C intake influence cataract progression – Healio


Researchers reported the progression of nuclear cataract over a 10-year period is influenced by genetic factors, with a heritability of 35% in addition to vitamin C and manganese intake, according to a study in Ophthalmology.

The cross-sectional nuclear cataract and dietary measurements were available for 2,054 white female twins from the TwinsUK cohort. Researchers utilized follow-up cataract measurements for 324 of the twins.

Nuclear cataract was measured quantitatively by using pixel density in the center of the lens nucleus, also known as the central nuclear dip score (NDS). Photographs were taken using a Scheimpflug camera (Case 2000, Marcher Enterprises Ltd., Worcester, U.K.), at both baseline and follow-up.

Ekaterina Yonova-Doing, MSc, and colleagues reported no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of micronutrient intake, excluding iron, thiamine and biotin. There was also no significant difference in supplement intake between the two groups.

As expected, the researchers noted a progression in nuclear cataract scores in all participants. Baseline central NDS mean was 55, with the score increasing by an average of 19.0 over the follow -period, according to the study.

The heritability analysis was conducted on 155 twin pairs, with estimated heritability at 0.35, which researchers defined as genetic factors explaining 35% of the variance in progression of nuclear cataract. Thus, individual environmental factors accounted for the remaining 65%.

Vitamin C was associated with a 19% risk reduction at baseline and a 33% risk reduction of cataract progression. Manganese intake was associated with a 20% risk reduction at baseline, according to the researchers.

“This study is the first, to our knowledge, to show that dietary vitamin C intake protects against progression of nuclear lens opacity,” the researchers wrote. – by Abigail Sutton


Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.

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