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March 3, 1999

Inhaled Corticosteroids and Likelihood of Cataract Extraction

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(9):791-793. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-9-jbk0303

To the Editor: The study by Dr Garbe and colleagues1 does not adequately control for factors that could be related both to asthma treated with inhaled steroids and to cataract formation. Atopic dermatitis, which is found more commonly in persons with allergic asthma, is associated with an increased incidence of cataracts.2-4 Also, topical corticosteroid use in treatment of atopic facial and eyelid dermatitis is associated with an increased risk of cataracts.5 Before inhaled corticosteroids can be accepted as contributing to the development of cataracts, studies examining these 2 potential confounders, atopic dermatitis and the use of topical steroids on facial skin, are needed.