Article ID: CJ-19-0118
Background:Decreased light reception because of cataracts leads to potential circadian misalignment, resulting in exacerbation of atherosclerosis; however, little is known about the association between cataracts and atherosclerosis in populations.
Methods and Results:In this cross-sectional study, cataracts were graded using slit lamp biomicroscopy with the Lens Opacities Classification System III and carotid atherosclerosis was assessed based on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) measured using ultrasonography of the common carotid artery in 442 elderly participants (mean age, 70.0 years). Cataract was defined as nuclear cataract grade ≥3.0, cortical cataract grade ≥2.0, or posterior subcapsular cataract grade ≥2.0 in both eyes. The mean and maximal carotid IMT was 0.86±0.15 mm and 1.07±0.29 mm, respectively. In multivariable analysis adjusted for potential confounders, the mean and maximal carotid IMT were significantly greater in the cataract group than in the non-cataract group by 0.04 mm (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01–0.06) and 0.07 mm (95% CI, 0.01–0.12), respectively. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders revealed a significantly higher odds ratio for carotid atherosclerosis (maximal carotid IMT ≥1.1 mm) in the cataract group than in the non-cataract group (odds ratio, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.14–2.78).
Conclusions:Cataracts may be independently associated with subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in the elderly population, indicating a need for further prospective studies.