TUESDAY, Sept. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The risk of incident contrast sensitivity (CS) impairment is increased with factors such as cadmium exposure and older age, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Adam J. Paulsen, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues examined the incidence of and factors associated with CS in a cohort of 1,983 participants who were free of CS impairment in both eyes at baseline. Follow-up examinations occurred at five-year intervals.

The researchers found that the 10-year cumulative incidence of CS impairment was 24.8 percent, was similar in women and men (24.9 and 24.6 percent), and was highest in those aged 65 to 84 years (66.3 percent). Factors associated with increased risk included cadmium level in the highest quintile (hazard ratio [HR], 1.35), older age (HR, 1.36), larger waist circumference (HR, 1.06), and more plaque sites (one to three sites: HR, 1.43; four to six sites: HR, 2.75), in multivariable models; male sex and any alcohol consumption correlated with decreased risk (HRs, 0.77 and 0.61, respectively). When smoking status replaced cadmium exposure in the models, the results were similar. There was no correlation noted for lead levels with increased risk.

“The associations of diminished CS with other modifiable risk factors found appear to imply that changes in behavior may reduce future incidence of CS impairment,” the authors write.

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