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January 20, 1999

Sunlight Exposure and Cataract

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.Winker, MDIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorsIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(3):229-230. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-3-jbk0120

To the Editor: Dr West and colleagues1 demonstrate an association between light and cortical cataracts and the attenuation of cataract development in persons who wear glasses. From this they suggest that there is a causal relationship between UV-B radiation and the development of cortical cataract, but I question whether this is due just to UV-B. This term was developed by dermatologists to define a specific wavelength range in the UV spectrum (290-320 nm) that causes erythema of the skin. This distinguishes it from UV-A (320-400 nm), which does not cause erythema.