Anthropometric status and cataract: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation project

Laura E. Caulfield, Sheila K West, Yolanda Barrón, Javier Cid-Ruzafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Weight or body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) is frequently identified as a risk factor for cataract, but the nature of the association is unclear. Objective: We aimed to characterize the relation between BMI and stature and risk of different types of cataract. Design: We analyzed data from participants in the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE), a cross-sectional survey of visual status and demographic, nutritional, and environmental factors conducted between 1993 and 1995 in a representative sample of community-dwelling older persons in Salisbury, MD. Multiple logistic regression techniques were used to compare risk factors between individuals with nuclear, cortical, or posterior subcapsular (PSC) opacities and individuals with no cataract. Results: Risk of nuclear opacification was greater in participants with lower BMIs [adjusted odds ratio of 1.13 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.27) with a BMI of 22.5 compared with 28.0] and of taller stature [1.12 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.25) with a stature of 170.5 cm compared with 164]. In contrast, risk of cortical opacification was greater in participants with higher BMIs and of taller stature, but the relation for stature diminished in magnitude and was not significant after adjustment for other risk factors. BMI was not related to risk of PSC opacities, but there was some evidence that taller stature is a risk factor for PSC opacification (P = 0.06) after adjustment for other risk factors. Conclusions: Both BMI and stature are independent risk factors for cataracts in the SEE population, with the nature of the risk dependent on cataract type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • BMI
  • Body mass index
  • Cataract
  • Elderly
  • Posterior subcapsular opacity
  • Salisbury Eye Evaluation
  • Stature
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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