Alcohol Consumption and Incident Cataract Surgery in Two Large UK Cohorts

PURPOSE: To examine the association of alcohol consumption and type of alcoholic beverage with incident cataract surgery in 2 large cohorts.

DESIGN: Longitudinal, observational study.

PARTICIPANTS: We included 469 387 participants of UK Biobank with a mean age of 56 years and 23 162 participants of European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk with a mean age of 59 years.

METHODS: Self-reported alcohol consumption at baseline was ascertained by a touchscreen questionnaire in UK Biobank and a food-frequency questionnaire in EPIC-Norfolk. Cases were defined as participants undergoing cataract surgery in either eye as ascertained via data linkage to National Health Service procedure statistics. We excluded participants with cataract surgery up to 1 year after the baseline assessment visit or those with self-reported cataract at baseline. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the associations of alcohol consumption with incident cataract surgery, adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, Townsend deprivation index, body mass index (BMI), smoking, and diabetes status.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incident cataract surgery.

RESULTS: There were 19 011 (mean cohort follow-up of 95 months) and 4573 (mean cohort follow-up of 193 months) incident cases of cataract surgery in UK Biobank and EPIC-Norfolk, respectively. Compared with nondrinkers, drinkers were less likely to undergo cataract surgery in UK Biobank (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-0.93) and EPIC-Norfolk (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84-0.97) after adjusting for covariables. Among alcohol consumers, greater alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced risk of undergoing cataract surgery in EPIC-Norfolk (P < 0.001), whereas a U-shaped association was observed in the UK Biobank. Compared with nondrinkers, subgroup 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.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a lower risk of undergoing cataract surgery with low to moderate alcohol consumption. The association was particularly apparent with wine consumption. We cannot exclude the possibility of residual confounding, and further studies are required to determine whether this association is causal in nature.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Chua, S. Y. L.;Luben, R. N.;Hayat, S.;Broadway, D. C.;Khaw, K. T.;Warwick, A.;Britten, A.;Day, A. C.;Strouthidis, N.;Patel, P. J.;Khaw, P. T.;Foster, P. J.;Khawaja, A. P.;U. K. Biobank Eye;Vision, Consortium

  • Issue: Ophthalmology . 2021 Feb 8;S0161-6420(21)00114-7
  • Published Date: 2021 Feb 8
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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