International Ophthalmology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 59–68 | Cite as

Diet and cataract: a case–control study

  • Sofia Theodoropoulou
  • Evangelia Samoli
  • Panagiotis G. Theodossiadis
  • Miltiadis Papathanassiou
  • Areti Lagiou
  • Pagona Lagiou
  • Anastasia Tzonou
Original Paper


We conducted a case–control study to assess the association between diet and risk of cataract in Athens, Greece. Totals of 314 cases and 314 frequency-matched controls of both sexes, aged 45–85 years and attending the ophthalmology department of a major teaching hospital in Athens, Greece, were included in the study. All participants were interviewed using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire, covering the average frequency of consumption of about 120 food items. Analyses were conducted through multiple logistic regression. The analysis was carried out taking cataract as a general outcome (all types of cataract combined) and repeated by the specific type of cataract. We found significant inverse associations of cataract with dietary consumption of fish (OR = 0.69, p < 0.001), vegetables (OR = 0.47, p < 0.001), fruits (OR = 0.53, p < 0.001), and potatoes (OR = 0.76, p = 0.004), while consumption of meat was positively associated with cataract (OR = 1.46, p = 0.001). High intake of total fat (OR = 2.00, p < 0.001) and cholesterol (OR = 1.65, p < 0.001) increased the risk of cataract. There was a protective association between cataract risk and intake of carbohydrates (OR = 0.39, p < 0.001), carotene (OR = 0.56, p < 0.001), vitamins C and E (OR = 0.50, p < 0.001 and OR = 0.50, p < 0.001 respectively). We identified an association between the risk of cataract and several food groups and nutrients. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, pulses and starchy foods may protect against cataract. In addition, high intake of vitamins C and E and carotene with reduction of intake in total fat and cholesterol may be beneficial. Dietary advice along these lines may provide adequate public health guidelines for the delay of age-related cataract.


Cataract Diet Case–control Nutrients Food items 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. Georgia Stasinopoulou for her valuable contribution in the realization of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Theodoropoulou
    • 1
  • Evangelia Samoli
    • 1
  • Panagiotis G. Theodossiadis
    • 2
  • Miltiadis Papathanassiou
    • 2
  • Areti Lagiou
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pagona Lagiou
    • 1
    • 4
  • Anastasia Tzonou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology & Medical Statistics, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.2nd Department of Ophthalmology, Attikon Hospital, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Faculty of Health ProfessionsAthens Technological Educational InstituteAthensGreece
  4. 4.Bureau of Epidemiologic ResearchAcademy of AthensAthensGreece

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