Research Findings

Incidence Studies - Cataracts/Other Eye Conditions

Cataract Risk in a Cohort of U.S. Radiologic Technologists Performing Nuclear Medicine Procedures (2018)
 Cataract risk was elevated among U.S. radiologic technologists who performed diagnostic and/or therapeutic nuclear medicine (NM) procedures compared to others who never performed NM procedures.
Ultraviolet radiation and incidence of cataracts in a nationwide US cohort (2018)
 In an analysis of 44,891 U.S. radiologic technologists who were cataract-free at completion of the third cohort survey (2003-2005) and completed the fourth survey (2012-2013), risks for cataract and cataract surgery increased significantly with increasing lifetime average ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, a measure derived from linking residential histories with the NASA database of recorded UVR measurements, and increasing number of blistering sunburns. Risks were not related to cumulative time spent ourdoors or prior history of keratinocyte carcinmoma.
Occupational radiation exposure and risk of cataract incidence in a cohort of US radiologic technologists (2018)
 Among 67,246 U.S. radiologic technologists, excess cataract risk (12,336 cases) was associated with low-dose and low dose-rate cumulative estimated occupational radiation absorbed eye lens doses (mean: 55.7 mGy; range: 0-1514 mGy). This study is also the first to report a significant dose-reponse risk for cataract with cumulative eye lens exposures less than 100 mGy.
Occupational radiation exposure and glaucoma and macular degeneration in the US radiologic technologists (2018)
 In separate studies of approximately 70,000 U.S. radiologic technologists each, risks for glaucoma (1631 cases) and macular degeneration (1331 cases) were not associated with cumulative estimated occupational radiation absorbed eye lens. This is the first study to evaluate risks for these conditions with low-dose radiation exposure.
Risk of cataract after exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation: a 20-year prospective cohort study among US radiologic technologists (2008)
 We followed 35,705 radiologic technologists who were 24-44 years of age and had no history of cataracts at the first survey in the mid-1980s until they completed the third survey in the mid-2000s. Cataracts were reported by 2,382 technologists and cataract extractions by 647. Cataract risk increased with age, cigarette smoking, body mass index, and mean annual ultraviolet radiation exposure at age 13, and was higher among women, the unmarried, and those with a history of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or arthritis. Risk was lower with higher alcohol consumption. Cataract risk increased significantly with increasing number of personal diagnostic x-rays and was borderline statistically significantly (p=0.06) higher among individuals in the highest versus lowest occupational dose categories.