Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Cataract Extraction

A Prospective Cohort Study of Women
Published:December 14, 2006DOI:


      To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cataract extraction.


      Population-based prospective cohort study.


      A total of 34 713 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, age 49 to 83 years, completed in 1997 a self-administered questionnaire about alcohol, smoking, and other lifestyle factors.


      The women were followed from September 1997 through September 2004. The cohort was matched with registers of cataract extraction from the study area.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Incident surgical extraction of age-related cataract.


      During 84 months of follow-up, we found 3587 incident cases of age-related cataract extraction. Compared with never drinkers, the relative risk of cataract extraction among current drinkers was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.21) after adjustment for age and other potential risk factors. In multivariate analysis, an increment of 13 g alcohol intake per day (corresponding to 1 drink = 330 ml of beer, 150 ml of wine, or 45 ml of liquor) was associated with a 7% increased risk of cataract extraction (relative risk, 1.07; 95% CI 1.02–1.12). Mean age at cataract extraction among nonsmoking women who used alcohol was 75 years, compared with 77.6 years among never drinkers.


      These prospective data suggest that daily use of ≥1 alcoholic drinks was associated with a modest increase of risk for cataract extraction. The risk increased with increasing alcohol consumption.
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