A recent study published in Ophthalmology showed that wine drinkers may have fewer chances of needing cataract surgery! This has been a popular study to report on, being picked up by many news outlets around the globe since so many wine drinkers are cheers-ing to it’s results.
It was the largest study on the association between alcohol consumption and cataract surgery incidence and it concluded that “low to moderate consumption of alcohol, especially wine, may reduce the risk of incidence of cataracts that would require surgery.” It tracked a total of 490,000 volunteers in the UK who agreed to give detailed information about their health and lifestyle throughout their lives in a very detailed questionnaire and the participants were in two different study groups.
The risk of cataract surgery was compared between both nondrinkers and alcohol drinkers, and according to types of alcohol they drank and amount of alcohol intake they reported in the questionnaires.
Overall, wine drinkers were less likely to undergo cataract surgery, showing a 23% reduction in cataract surgery in one study group and a 14% reduction in the other study group. Click here for more details on the percentages.
Specifically, they found that wine drinkers who consumed about 6.5 standard glasses of wine per week were less likely to undergo cataract surgery.
Wine drinkers were less likely than non-drinkers and less likely than people who drank other types of alcohol.
Did we know this already?
Sort of. The study’s findings are consistent with what we already know about the health benefits of red wine and antioxidants. Previous studies have shown diets that are rich in antioxidants may prevent the onset of cataracts – and we know that grape skin is one fruit with a ton of healthful antioxidants, resveratrol, and flavonoids.
So should Dr. Loh start prescribing red wine to her patients?
Not yet. This study only proves a CORRELATION between wine consumption and cataract development. Researchers note that their study does not establish causation, only a strong association between alcohol consumption and cataracts.
Limitations of the study included that self-reporting alcohol intake may involve misclassification bias and cataract development may have come before exposure assessment of the alcohol intake.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a cataract or have blurry vision, please call us at 786-558-8542 to schedule an evaluation with our office today! If you are interested in other ways that you can prevent cataracts, like wearing appropriate sunglasses, feel free to schedule a regular exam with our doctors or check out our blog for more info!