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April 13, 2005

Lead Exposure and Cataract Risk in Men—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(14):1724-1725. doi:10.1001/jama.293.14.1724-c

In Reply: Dr Beebe and Mr Song express concern that our finding of a 3-fold increased risk of cataract associated with increased tibia lead levels in men may be confounded by socioeconomic status, family history of cataract, or BMI. Among studies that have shown these factors to be associated with cataract, the highest risk estimates have been around a 2-fold increase.13 Given the magnitude of our findings, it is unlikely that controlling for these factors would eliminate the strong association between tibia lead and cataract we observed. Although we did not assess data on family history of cataract, we believe it unlikely that any association between family history of cataract and tibia lead levels would be strong enough to result in significant confounding.

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