Adiposity by differing measures and the risk of cataract in the UK biobank: the importance of diabetes

Xianwen Shang, Zhuoting Zhu, Xueli Zhang, Yu Huang, Zachary Tan, Wei Wang, Shulin Tang, Zongyuan Ge, Danli Shi, Yu Jiang, Xiaohong Yang, Mingguang He

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1 Citation (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To examine the association between adiposity by differing measures and incident cataract and identify important factors contributing to the association. METHODS. Our analysis included 153,139 adults from the UK Biobank, aged 40 to 70 years at baseline (2006–2010). Cataract was ascertained using hospital inpatient, and self-reported data until the early of 2021. Anthropometric measures, body fat percentage, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured at baseline. RESULTS. During a median follow-up of 10.9 years, 15,255 cases of incident cataract were documented. HbA1c was an important contributor to the association between obesity and incident cataract. Obesity; defined by body mass index was associated with an increased risk of cataract (hazard ratio [HR], 1.21 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–1.26), and this association was attenuated but remained significant after additional adjustment for HbA1c (HR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.00–1.10). Similar results were observed for obesity defined by waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. Obesity defined by fat percentage was associated with an increased risk of cataract before but not after adjustment for covariates. The association between obesity defined by body mass index and incident cataract was positively significant in individuals with normal HbA1c (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02–1.13), but inversely significant in those with prediabetes (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67–0.96) or diabetes (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.61–0.89). CONCLUSIONS. Anthropometric measurements are more predictive of cataract than bioelectrical impedance measures. Diabetes plays an important role in the association between obesity and incident cataract.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Anthropometric measures
  • Body fat percentage
  • Cataract
  • Diabetes
  • Glycosylated hemoglobin
  • Moderation analysis
  • Obesity
  • Prediabetes

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