Diabetes doubles the risk of cataract in the general population, with an even greater increased risk among people aged under 70, according to researchers.
The study confirms in a population from the United Kingdom what had been seen in other places, reported Dr Claudia Becker from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues. They published the finding in the journal Eye.
The primary cause of blindness worldwide, cataract is defined as a decrease in the transparency of the crystalline lens. In the developed world, the main risk factors documented are advanced age, smoking, exposure to sunlight and use of corticosteroids.
Only one previous study from the U.K. has examined incidence rates of cataract in a diabetic population, Dr Becker and colleagues found.
To fill the gap, the researchers counted the number of cataract diagnoses or extractions in patients newly diagnosed with diabetes and treated medically, and compared this incidence with the general population.