Journal Article

Model of Risk of Cortical Cataract in the US Population with Exposure to Increased Ultraviolet Radiation due to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Sheila K. West, Janice D. Longstreth, Beatriz E. Munoz, Hugh M. Pitcher and Donald D. Duncan

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 11, pages 1080-1088
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi329
Model of Risk of Cortical Cataract in the US Population with Exposure to Increased Ultraviolet Radiation due to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

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The authors modeled the possible consequences for US cataract incidence of increases in ultraviolet B radiation due to ozone depletion. Data on the dose-response relation between ocular exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and cortical cataract were derived from a population-based study (the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project, Salisbury, Maryland) in which extensive data on cataract and ultraviolet radiation were collected in persons aged 65–84 years. Exposure estimates for the US population were derived using estimated ultraviolet radiation fluxes as a function of wavelength. US Census data were used to obtain the age, ethnicity, and sex distribution of the population. Predicted probabilities of cataract were derived from the age-, sex-, and ethnicity-specific ocular ultraviolet exposure data and were modeled under conditions of 5–20% ozone depletion. The analysis indicated that by 2050, the prevalence of cortical cataract will increase above expected levels by 1.3–6.9%. The authors estimate that with 5–20% ozone depletion, there will be 167,000–830,000 additional cases of cortical cataract by 2050. Because of the high prevalence of cataract in older persons, at a 2003 cost of $3,370 per cataract operation, this increase could represent an excess cost of $563 million to $2.8 billion.

Keywords: cataract; ozone; radiation; ultraviolet rays; SEE, Salisbury Eye Evaluation; UVB, ultraviolet B

Journal Article.  5401 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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