Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between cataract development and serum lipids, glucose as well as antioxidants in a case-control study.
Methods: Ninety patients with cataract and 90 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were investigated. Lipid profiles including triglyceride (Tg), total serum cholesterol (Chol) and cholesterol content in high-density lipoproteins (HDL chol) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL chol) as well as fasting glucose (FBS) were measured for all subjects. Plasma oxidative stress as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and the status of antioxidants were studied as ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) and thiol substance assay.
Results: A higher prevalence of abnormal FBS (8.9 vs 1.1%), Tg (26.7 vs 8.9%) and Chol (54.4 vs 30%) was found in cataract patients than the control group (p < 0.05). Plasma Tg (p = 0.02), Chol (p = 0.001) and LDL chol (p = 0.04) were significantly higher in the cataract group than in the control group. Likewise TBARS (p = 0.05) as the level of oxidative stress was significantly higher in the case group, and FRAP (p = 0.03) and thiol (p = 0.02) assays as the antioxidant activity was significantly lower among cataract patients.
Conclusion: This study has shown that hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia, high LDL chol and high FBS are associated with cataract. Also lower plasma antioxidant levels and higher levels of oxidative stress were seen in cataract patients than healthy controls. These findings indicate a need for health promotional activities aimed at controlling these preventable factors among high risk populations.