|Year : 1983 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 270-272
Nutritional factors in cataract
K Nirmal Gupta, S Gupta, SP Pahda
Deptt. of Ophthal., Medical College, Jammu, Jammu (Tawi)-180001, India
K Nirmal Gupta
Deptt. of Ophthal., Medical College, Jammu, Jammu (Tawi)-180001
|How to cite this article:|
Gupta K N, Gupta S, Pahda S P. Nutritional factors in cataract. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:270-2
Our knowledge of metabolism of lens is so inadequate that no specific etiopathogensis of cataract has so far been established. Senile cataract considered as senescence process is often seen at a much younger age in developing countries with the result that malnutrition has been attributed as an important cause (Duke Elder).
| Material and Methods|| |
Two hundred cases of cataract irrespective of age, sex and ethnic group were selected for the study. General physical examination with special emphasis on nutritional status of the individual was carried out. Height and weight measurements were taken and relative weight calculated. Detailed ocular examination including slit-lamp examination was performed. Daily calorie intake was calculated from the food consumed in twentyfour hours at home. Calorie value and protein conteni of the various foods were calculated from I.C.M.R. foot value charts.
Estimation of blood haemoglobin, serum proteir and serum albumin was done in all the cases.
A matching group of sixty-five individuals withou any lenticular opacity served as control and wen subjected to similar examination and investigations.
| Results|| |
Age and sex distribution of the cataract anc control cases [Table - 1] shows an increase in the number of cataract cases up to the 7th decade and thereafter, it shows a steady decline.
The relative weight in cataract cases was 83.74% + 4.22% in males and 86.51 ± 5.84% in females as compared to 90.38 + 6.55% and 93.60 ± 8.53% in males and females of control group respectively. Higher relative weight was common among the controls than among the cataract cases [Table - 2].
The mean calorie intake among cataract cases was 61.90 ± 4.34% in males and 68.62 + 13.07 in females compared to 73.84 ± 5.77% and 83.67 + 5.39% in males and females respectively of control group, [Table - 3] showing a higher intake among controls of all age groups than among the corresponding group of cataract cases.
Mean haemoglobin values of 12.72 ± 0.75 g % and 10.86 + 0.68 g % among both males and females of control group were higher than those of 10.66 + 0.80 g % and 9.65 ± 0.60 g in males and females of cataract group respectively.
The serum albumin values [Table - 4] which are more important criteria of nutritional status of an individual than total serum proteins, were significantly higher among the controls than among the cataract cases.
Positive clinical signs suggestive of nutritional deficiency [Table - 5] were seen among 57% of cataract cases a little more in females (60.87%) than in males (53.7%) while such signs were found only in 15.39% of controls. More than one such signs were often seen among cararact cases.
| Discussion|| |
Deficiency cataract have been produced in experimental animals fed on diet deficient in certain amino acids and vitamins. Although cataract is not a very common feature in deficiency diseases in human beings, it has been attributed to deficiency of vitamin B 2 (Cosgrove K.W.); Vitamin G (Paul and Day) hyproteinaemia (Labib et al.) and vitamin C (Bellows). Association of cataract to rickets, tetanic convulsion and malformations of teeth is well known.
Ooman found cataract among children who suffered from Kwashiorkor. Vaishnava et al. found 0.56 % cataract among 378 cases of nutritional osteomalacia, in hospital patients.
We have found lower values of relative weight, protein and calorie intake and blood haemoglobin and serum albumin and a higher prevalence of physical signs of nutritional deficiency among cases having cataract than among those with a clear lens. This suggests a gross non-specific nutritional deficiency among cataract cases which may be responsible for the lenticular opacity.
In the absence of an adequate knowledge of the pathogenesis of cataract it is very difficult to point out how a nutritional deficiency of unclassified nature produces cataract. Oomen (1957) postulated a probable biological damage to the lens in early age which later gets affected by protein malnutrition and ultraviolet light resulting in clinical cataract formation. Daljit Singh et al., (1979) attributed cataract to the net result of all nutritional insults acute or chronic, mild or severe suffered by the patient over months weeks and years.
We feel that nutritional deficiency causes some complex yet unknown biochemical changes affecting the metabolism of lens at some critical stage resulting in the formation of cataract.
| Summary|| |
Two hundred unselected cases of cataract were evaluated for the nutritional status. Lower values of relative body weight, protein and calorie intake, blood haemoglobin and serum albumin as well as higher prevalence of physical signs of nutritional deficiency were found among cataract cases suggesting that malnutrition plays a significant role in cataract.
| References|| |
|1.||Duke Elder Sir Stewart, Systems of Ophth. Vol. XI, pp. 95-96, 90. Sir Henry Kimpton, London. 1969. |
|2.||I.C.M.R. Publication; Nutritive value of Indian Foods, p. 27, 1980. |
|3.||Labib. M.A.M., Mousa, A.H., Salash, B.A.. and Antably, S., Soft cataract in relation to Hypoproteinaemia and anaemia. Bull. Op/rth. Society Egypt., 63: 295-303, 1970. |
|4.||Vaishnava, H., Rizvi, S.N.A., Proceedings of XJ International Congress of Internal Medicine, New Delhi, 1970. |
|5.||Ooman-Quoted by Baghchi Kalayan Experimental Cataract in Protein deficiency. Jour. Ind. Medical Association, 31: 271-275, 1958. |
|6.||Singh, V., Kumar, S., Verma Arun, and Singh Mohinder, Nutritional deficiences and cataract, Proceedings of 38th A.I.O. Conference, Amritsar, 1979. |
[Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4], [Table - 5]