Reduced age-related cataracts among elderly persons who reach age 90 with preserved cognition: A biomarker of successful aging?

George S. Zubenko, Wendy N. Zubenko, Brion S. Maher, Norman S. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tissue damage due to oxidative stress has been implicated in aging, memory loss, and cataract formation. We hypothesized that persons who achieved exceptional longevity with preserved cognition (successful aging [SAG]) would exhibit a lower rate of age-related cataract (ARC) than the general population. The age-specific rates of ARC for a group of 100 (50 male, 50 female) elderly persons who reached at least age 90 years with preserved cognition were compared to the corresponding rates of ARC reported in five population-based studies. The principal finding of this report was that the SAG group manifested a significant reduction in the age-specific rate and lifetime cumulative incidence of ARC compared to the general population. Steroid use, alcohol consumption, gout, and skin lesions resulting from excessive sun exposure emerged as risk factors. Our findings suggest that the progressive development of lens opacities may be reflective of degenerative events occurring more generally throughout the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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