• Written By: Robert F. Melendez, MD
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology

    This study's authors examined how the use of sun-sensitizing medication may affect the previously established association between incident cortical cataract and sunlight or UV-B exposure.

    Using data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study, they recorded participant residential history and reported prescription and over-the-counter medication use. They estimated baseline sun exposure in Wisconsin sun-years for each participant based on residential history and used standardized lens photographs taken at each exam to determine cataract presence.

    They did not find any significant effects of Wisconsin sun-year exposure or sun-sensitizing medication use on the cumulative incidence of any type of age-related cataract when controlling for age and sex. However, the researchers did find a significant interaction between Wisconsin sun-years and use of any sun-sensitizing medication (P=.04). This made the risk of cortical cataract greater among users of sun-sensitizing medication with higher levels of sun exposure.

    The authors conclude that this finding, if confirmed by other studies, may have important implications for medication use and public health since cortical cataract is a common age-related condition.