What are the risk factors for senile cataract (age-related cataract)?

Updated: Mar 02, 2021
  • Author: Vicente Victor Dizon Ocampo, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Significant associations with senile cataract were noted with increasing age, female sex, social class, and myopia. Consistent evidence from the study of West and Valmadrid suggested that the prevalence of all cataract types was lower among those with higher education. [16] Workers exposed to infrared radiation also were found to have a higher incidence of senile cataract development.

Although myopia has been implicated as a risk factor, it was shown that persons with myopia who had worn eyeglasses for at least 20 years underwent cataract extraction at a significantly older age than emmetropes, implying a protective effect of the eyeglasses to solar UV radiation.

The role of nutritional deficiencies in senile cataract has not been proven or established. However, a high intake of the 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and linolenic acid reportedly may result in an increased risk of developing age-related nuclear opacity.

In the Blue Mountains Eye Study, pseudoexfoliation increased the risk of cataract and subsequent cataract surgery. [21]

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