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December 1991

Myopia and Cataract

Author Affiliations

Omaha, Neb

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(12):1636. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080120014005

To the Editor.  —While controversy swirled over the association between exposure to the short-wavelength region of sunlight (UVB, 290 to 320 nm) and increased risk of cataract, I smugly assumed that my lifelong use of eyeglasses for correction of myopia protected my lenses from this damaging radiation. This assumption was based on the fact that glass absorbs UVB radiation. Now Leske et al1 suggest that myopia, as indicated by eyeglass use before age 20 years, is associated with increased risk of mixed cataract. They specified the composition of their mixed group in terms of the four permutations of posterior subcapsular, cortical, and nuclear cataracts. Each subgroup contained 91 or more subjects, and I wonder if individual risk assessments were performed. Small subgroup size may obscure the assessment of risk. On the other hand, if risk were concentrated in one or two subgroups, association with eyeglass use may be significant.

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