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Women who eat healthy require fewer cataract surgeries

A healthy diet can have positive effects on many aspects? of a person's overall health. A recent study concludes that there is an association between a healthy diet and a decreased risk of nuclear cataracts in women. The results of the study can be found in the June issue of Ophthalmology. Nuclear cataracts form in the center of the eye's lens. This type of cataract is caused by changes occurring due to the natural aging process and it can be seen as it forms. Nuclear cataracts are the most common form of cataract in the United States. Participants in the Women's Health Initiative Observation were included in the assessment. Women aged 50 - 79 were assigned a 1995 Healthy Eating Index score based on their responses to food frequency questionnaires. The presence of nuclear cataracts was determined by slit lamp photographs and self-reports of cataract extractions. 1,808 women participated in the Cataract Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Participants who had a high 1995 Healthy Eating Index score had the lowest incidence of nuclear cataracts among many risk factors studied. Those who had a higher incidence of nuclear cataracts were associated with other adjustable factors such as smoking and significant obesity and fixed factors such as myopia and having brown eyes. Researchers concluded that a healthy diet which includes eating a variety of foods from different food groups rich in vitamins and minerals may prevent the formation of nuclear cataracts in women.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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