Wine consumption may lower risk of cataract surgery, finds Study
UK: People indulging in low to moderate alcohol consumption are at a lower risk of undergoing cataract surgery, finds a recent study in the journal Ophthalmology. The risk was particularly evident with wine consumption.
Robert N Luben, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, and colleagues aimed to examine the association of alcohol consumption and type of alcoholic beverage with incident cataract surgery in two large cohorts.
For the purpose, the researchers performed a longitudinal observational study consisting of 469,387 participants of UK Biobank (mean age of 56 years) and 23,162 participants of EPIC-Norfolk (mean age of 59 years).
Using the touchscreen questionnaire in UK Biobank and a food-frequency questionnaire in EPIC-Norfolk, the researchers ascertained self-reported alcohol consumption at baseline. Cases were defined as participants undergoing cataract surgery in either eye as ascertained via data linkage to National Health Service procedure statistics.
Patients with cataract surgery up to 1 year after the baseline assessment visit or those with self-reported cataract at baseline were excluded.
Key findings of the study include:
- There were 19,011 (mean cohort follow-up of 95 months) and 4,573 (mean cohort follow-up of 193 months) incident cases of cataract surgery in UK Biobank and EPIC-Norfolk, respectively.
- Compared to non-drinkers, drinkers were less likely to undergo cataract surgery in UK Biobank (HR 0.89) and EPIC-Norfolk (HR 0.90) after adjusting for covariables.
- Among alcohol consumers, greater alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced risk of undergoing cataract surgery in EPIC-Norfolk, while a U-shaped association was observed in the UK Biobank.
- Compared with non-drinkers, sub-group analysis by type of alcohol beverage showed the strongest protective association with wine consumption; the risk of incident cataract surgery was 23% and 14% lower among those in the highest category of wine consumption in EPIC-Norfolk and UK Biobank, respectively.
"Our findings suggest a lower risk of undergoing cataract surgery with low to moderate alcohol consumption. The association was particularly apparent with wine consumption," wrote the authors.
"We cannot exclude the possibility of residual confounding and further studies are required to determine whether this association is causal in nature."
The study titled, "Alcohol Consumption and Incident Cataract Surgery in Two Large UK Cohorts," is published in the journal Ophthalmology.