A CME Journal For Family Physicians


Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis Linked to Cataracts

Individuals with asthma or allergic rhinitis have an increased risk of cataracts, according to the results of a recent study.
Corticosteroid therapy, important in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), allergic rhinitis (AR), and asthma, has been shown to be associated with the risk of developing glaucoma or cataracts.
In a recent study, researchers examined data on 14,776 participants from the KNHANES-V, a population-based, cross-sectional health examination and survey conducted in South Korea. The participants were grouped by asthma and AD status. The researchers noted that the asthma group was significantly older than the non-asthma group, while the AR group was significantly younger than the non-AR group.
Overall, atopic dermatitis was not found to be associated with the risk of developing cataracts or glaucoma, while asthma and allergic rhinitis were significantly associated with cataract risk.
“The plausible explanation for the association between asthma and cataract is that the asthma group was older than the other groups. Although several risk factors of ophthalmic complications were adjusted in analysis, the remaining effect of age might have influenced the result,” the researchers noted.
“Efforts should be made to reduce the risk of ophthalmologic complications when treating patients with allergic diseases.”

Lee YB, Lee JH, Kang MJ et al. Association between allergic diseases and ophthalmologic diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma, using the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010–2012: A STROBE-compliant article [published online January 4, 2018]. J Dermatol. DOI: 10.1111/1346-8138.14193.