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Cataract

Study finds strong link between heart health and reduced cataract risk

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There is a significant association between cardiovascular health status, as measured by the Life’s Essential 8 (LE8) score, and the risk of developing cataracts, according to a study that suggests individuals with better cardiovascular health have a lower risk of cataracts.

Furthermore, specific components of cardiovascular health, such as physical activity, sleep quality, and blood glucose levels, appear to play crucial roles in influencing cataract risk.

The study, which utilized data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2008, analyzed information from 3322 participants, categorizing them into groups based on their CVH status (poor, intermediate, and ideal).

Proposed by the American Heart Association as a comprehensive measure reflecting CVH status, LE8 comprises 4 health behaviors (diet, physical activity, smoking, and sleep) and 4 health factors (blood lipid, blood sugar, blood pressure, and body mass index).

There was a notable association between CVH status and cataract risk. Participants in the ideal CVH group exhibited a lower proportion of cataracts compared to those in the poor CVH group. Additionally, for every 10-point increase in LE8 score, there was a 14% reduction in cataract risk.

Further analysis highlighted specific subitems of LE8 significantly linked to cataract risk, including physical activity, sleep, and blood glucose levels.

The study underscores the importance of maintaining good cardiovascular health in reducing the risk of cataracts. Improving LE8 scores, particularly through enhancing physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, and managing blood glucose levels, emerges as a potential strategy for mitigating cataract risk.

Reference
Meng Y, Tan Z, Sawut A, et al. Association between Life’s Essential 8 and cataract among US adults. Sci Rep. 2024;14(1):13101. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-63973-1. PMID: 38849465; PMCID: PMC11161494.

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