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January 1993

Alcohol Use and Lens Opacities in the Beaver Dam Eye Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(1):113-117. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090010117037

• The relationship between alcohol use and lens opacities was examined in a large (N=4926) population-based study of adults aged 43 to 86 years in Beaver Dam, Wis. These data were collected from 1988 to 1990. Alcohol history was determined by a standardized questionnaire. Prevalence and severity of cataract were determined by masked grading of photographs obtained using a slit-lamp camera and retroillumination. A history of heavy drinking was related to more severe nuclear sclerotic, cortical, and posterior subcapsular opacities (odds ratios, 1.34, 1.38, and 1.57, respectively). These relationships remained after adjusting for other risk factors such as smoking. Moderate liquor consumption was associated with less severe nuclear sclerosis (odds ratio, 0.81). Participants who drank wine had less severe nuclear sclerosis (odds ratio, 0.84) and cortical opacities (odds ratio, 0.84) than those who did not. Increased consumption of beer was related to increased risk of cortical opacities.

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