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Relation of ocular trauma to cortical, nuclear, and posterior subcapsular cataracts: the Beaver Dam Eye Study

Abstract

Background: The consequences of minor ocular trauma in the general population are unclear. The relation of self reported ocular trauma to cortical, nuclear, and posterior subcapsular cataracts is described in a defined population.

Methods: Population based, cross sectional study involving all people aged 43 to 86 years, living in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (n=4926). Ocular trauma was ascertained by interview and cataract was graded from lens photographs. The relation of ocular trauma to cortical, nuclear, and posterior subcapsular cataracts was examined.

Results: People with a history of ocular trauma were more likely to have cortical (odds ratio (OR): 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0 to 2.2) and posterior subcapsular (OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.0 to 3.1) cataracts, compared to people without a history of trauma. These associations were stronger for people with previous trauma caused by a blunt object (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 1.6 to 6.9 for cortical cataract, and OR: 4.1; 95% CI: 1.5 to 10.8 for posterior subcapsular cataracts). However, in analyses comparing the frequencies of cataract between traumatised and non-traumatised eyes among people with unilateral ocular trauma, the ocular trauma association for cortical cataract was no longer present, although the association for posterior subcapsular cataract persisted (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 0.8 to 7.8).

Conclusion: The data provide evidence of a possible association between self reported ocular trauma and posterior subcapsular cataract.

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