- Diabetes is associated with an approximately 2-3 times higher odds for cataract in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- Considering the impact on health and quality of life and the limited treatment options especially for cataract it is mandatory to promote prevention through bi-directional screening and treatment.
Why this matters
- Cataract is a major cause of visual impairment in people with diabetes, yet there is scarcity of data in LMICs on this comorbidity.
- Cross-sectional, community-based data from the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) was analysed to evaluate the association between diabetes and cataract in 6 LMICs.
- The analytical sample consisted of 42,469 adults (China 14,811; Ghana 5108; India 11,230; Mexico 2742; Russia 4355; South Africa 4223) aged ≥18 years.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Overall, the prevalence of diabetes was 3.1% (95% CI, 2.7%-3.5%) and that of cataract were 13.3% (95% CI, 12.4%-14.3%), 4.4% (95% CI, 3.9%-4.8%), and 1.7% (95% CI, 1.5%-2.0%) for self-reported diagnosis and/or symptoms; solely self-reported diagnosis; and surgical treatment, respectively.
- After adjustment, the association was significantly elevated for:
- self-reported diagnosis and/or symptoms (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.59-2.76),
- solely self-reported diagnosis (OR, 2.62; 95% CI, 2.00-3.42),
- surgical treatment (OR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.78-4.40).
- These associations were particularly pronounced among those aged
- Diabetes was based solely on a lifetime self-reported diagnosis.