According to research in Scientific Reports, the occurrence of age-related cataracts is associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus C (HCV) infection.
Liver dysfunction is a known significant risk factor for cataract formation, and the liver-damaging effects of HBV and HCV are hypothesised to play a role as well. To test this, associations between hepatitis and cataracts were tested along with any mediation of these associations by the liver damage serum markers aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT).
After adjustments for confounding factors (age, sex, smoking amount, alcohol consumption, metabolic equivalence task, education, household income, diabetes, obesity, sun exposure, and family history of eye diseases), the prevalence of nuclear or any cataract was significantly higher for those with HBV and HCV. Compared with uninfected individuals, nuclear and any cataract prevalence in patients with HBV were as follows, respectively: 23.2% vs 28.8% (P <.001) and 39.6% vs 44.9% (P <.01). Compared with uninfected individuals, nuclear and any cataract prevalence in patients with HCV was as follows, respectively: 26.5% vs 58.1% and 47.3% vs 77.7% (P <.001 for both).