Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10636–10643 | Cite as

Unexpected potential protective associations between outdoor air pollution and cataracts

  • Yoon-Hyeong Choi
  • Su Jin Park
  • Hae Jung Paik
  • Mee Kum Kim
  • Won Ryang Wee
  • Dong Hyun Kim
Research Article
  • 102 Downloads

Abstract

Air pollution is one of the biggest public health issues, and the eye is continuously exposed to multiple outdoor air pollution. However, to date, no large-scale study has assessed the relationship between air pollutants and cataracts. We investigated associations between outdoor air pollution and cataracts in the Korean population. A population-based cross-sectional study was performed using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, including 18,622 adults more than 40 years of age. The presence of cataracts and their subtypes were evaluated by ophthalmologists. Air pollution data (levels of particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) for the 2 years prior to the ocular examinations were collected from national monitoring stations. The associations of multiple air pollutants with cataracts were assessed by multivariate logistic regression analyses. Sociodemographic factors and previously known risk factors for cataracts were controlled as covariates (model 1 included sociodemographic factors, sun exposure, and behavioral factors, while model 2 further included clinical factors). Higher ozone concentrations were protectively associated with overall cataract which included all subtypes [single pollutant model: 0.003 ppm increase—model 1 (OR 0.89, p = 0.014), model 2 (OR 0.87, p = 0.011); multi-pollutant model: 0.003 ppm increase—model 1 (OR 0.80, p = 0.002), model 2 (OR 0.87, p = 0.002)]. Especially, higher ozone concentrations showed deeply protective association with nuclear cataract subtype [0.003 ppm increase—single pollutant model: model 2 (OR 0.84, p = 0.006), multi-pollutant model: model 2 (OR 0.73, p < 0.001)]. Higher tropospheric ozone concentrations showed protective associations with overall cataract and nuclear cataract subtype in the Korean population.

Keywords

Air pollution Nuclear cataract Associations Ozone Oxidative stress Potential protective effect 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Epidemiologic Survey Committee of the Korean Ophthalmologic Society. The Epidemiologic Survey Committee of the Korean Ophthalmologic Society mainly participated in making and processing KNHANES data about ophthalmologic questionnaire and examinations, and helped us to access KNHANES data. We also thank Min-Jae Ju for help in accessing the Korea Census Bureau.

Financial support

This work was supported by the Gachon University Gil Medical Center (Grant number GCU-2016-5202).

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and complied with the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1266_Fig1_ESM.gif (39 kb)
Figure S1

Flow diagram presenting the selection of study participants. (GIF 38 kb)

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High resolution image (TIFF 219 kb)
11356_2018_1266_Fig2_ESM.gif (13 kb)
Figure S2

Yearly changes of multiple air pollution factors between 2006 and 2012 in South Korea. PM10 (μg/m3), O3, NO2, and SO2 (ppm) (GIF 13 kb)

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High resolution image (TIFF 304 kb)
11356_2018_1266_Fig3_ESM.gif (1.2 mb)
Figure S3

Distributed lag models between outdoor air pollutants (particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) and cataracts: a) model 1, b) model 2. (multi-pollutant model). PM: particulate matter; O3: ozone, NO2: nitrogen dioxide; SO2: sulfur dioxide. Model 1: sociodemographic factors, sun exposure, and behavioral factors (age, sex, region of residence, education level, income level, sun exposure, smoking, and alcohol drinking), were included as covariates. Model 2: Aforementioned factors and clinical factors (age, sex, region of residence, education level, income level, smoking, alcohol drinking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, myopia, and obesity), were included as covariates. *: Associated with cataract in multivariate logistic regression after controlling with Bonferroni’s correction (each p < 0.017) (GIF 1216 kb)

11356_2018_1266_MOESM3_ESM.tif (745 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 745 kb)
11356_2018_1266_Fig4_ESM.gif (679 kb)
Figure S4

Distributed lag models between ozone, nitrogen dioxide levels and nuclear cataracts in models 1 and 2: a) ozone, b) nitrogen dioxide. (multi-pollutant model). O3: ozone; NO2: nitrogen dioxide. Model 1: sociodemographic factors, sun exposure, and behavioral factors (age, sex, region of residence, education level, income level, sun exposure, smoking, and alcohol drinking), were included as covariates. Model 2: Aforementioned factors and clinical factors (age, sex, region of residence, education level, income level, smoking, alcohol drinking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, myopia, and obesity), were included as covariates. *: Associated with cataract in multivariate logistic regression after controlling with Bonferroni’s correction (each p < 0.017) (GIF 679 kb)

11356_2018_1266_MOESM4_ESM.tif (457 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 456 kb)
11356_2018_1266_MOESM5_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 17 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineGachon University College of MedicineIncheonKorea
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyGachon University Gil Medical CenterIncheonKorea
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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