To examine the impact of diet on the incidence of cataract surgery among the working-aged diabetic population in Australia.
This cohort study was conducted among 8,752 participants with diabetes aged 45-65 years who were recruited to the 45 and Up Study from 2006 to 2016. The data was linked to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to obtain data on cataract surgery. Diabetes was defined as self-reported on questionnaire or diabetes medication history based on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Diet was assessed at baseline, using a self-administered questionnaire and healthy diet scores were calculated based on Australian Dietary Guidelines. Cox regression was used to evaluate the association between diet and the incidence of cataract surgery during the follow-up.
During a mean follow-up of 8.4 years (73,431 person-years), 914 diabetic participants underwent cataract surgery with a corresponding rate of 12.4 cases per 1,000 person-years. After adjusting for age and gender, the hazard ratios (HR) of cataract surgery for the highest compared to the lowest intake quintile of red meat and poultry were 1.24 (95%CI, 1.00-1.55) and 1.24 (95%CI, 1.02-1.51), respectively. Further adjustment for demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors resulted in no significant difference between cataract surgery risk and healthy diet scores or specific diet groups. In gender-stratified analyses, increasing consumption of red meat (HR for highest versus lowest quintile, 1.39; 95%CI, 1.00-1.93; P for trend = 0.01) and poultry (HR for highest versus lowest quintile, 1.40; 95%CI, 1.05-1.87; P for trend = 0.01) were associated with a higher risk of cataract surgery in women after adjustment of age, gender, income, education level, body mass index, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, family history of diabetes, diabetes duration, insulin use, lifestyle and other dietary factors.
Higher consumption of red meat and poultry is related to an elevated risk of cataract surgery in the working-aged female population with diabetes.