People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop cataract
as the general population and the relative risk is highest in those aged
between 45 and 54, according to a new study published in the journal Eye.
Researchers analysed medical records from 56 510 UK-based
diabetes patients aged 40 or over and found that cataract was diagnosed at an
overall rate of 20.4 per 1000 people. This compares to a rate in the general
population of 10.8 per 1000.
People with diabetes aged between 45 and 54 were
considerably more likely than non-sufferers to develop cataract. Patients aged
between 45 and 49 were 4.6 times more likely to, and those aged between 50 and
54 were 5.7 times more at risk than their healthy counterparts.
The study used data from the Clinical Practice Research
Datalink, which covers around 7% of the UK population and is representative of
the overall demographic with regard to age, sex and geographic distribution.
Co-author Rupert Bourne, Professor of Ophthalmology at
Anglia Ruskin University’s Vision and Eye Research Unit, said: “The report
has shown that having diabetes doubles your risk of being diagnosed with a
cataract, and that this risk is six times higher if a diabetes patient has diabetic
C, et al. Cataract in patients with diabetes mellitus—incidence rates in the UK
and risk factors. Eye. Published 1 February 2018.