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January 1993

Alcohol Use and Risk of Posterior Subcapsular Opacities

Author Affiliations

From the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(1):110-112. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090010114036

• We conducted a follow-up study of surgical cases of posterior subcapsular cataracts and their controls to evaluate the possible association of alcohol intake and posterior subcapsular opacities. Two hundred thirty-eight cases and controls were interviewed. Current alcohol intake and usual and maximum weekly consumption ever were assessed. In this population, 57% of the cases and 56% of the controls were nondrinkers, 22% of the cases and 36% of the controls had an average of seven or fewer drinks per week, and 17% of the cases and 8% of the controls had more than seven drinks per week. A matched pair analysis controlling for other known risk factors showed an increased risk associated with heavy alcohol use. Heavy drinkers were more likely to be cases than were nondrinkers (odds ratio, 4.6; P<.05), and light drinkers were not at an increased risk. This result suggests that heavy alcohol consumption may increase the risk of posterior subcapsular cataract.