According to the World Health Organization, cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world. While not a common cause of blindness in the US, the prevalence of cataract is still significant and so are its economic and human costs. According to the National Society to Prevent Blindness, there are currently 24.4 million cases of cataract in the United States up from 20.5 million on the year 2000. Every year there are about 1 million surgeries for cataracts. It is estimated that the direct annual medical costs for outpatient, inpatient and prescription drug services related to the treatment of cataracts, total $6.8 billion.
In a recent British study,[i] there was a strong relation between cataract risk and diet group, with a progressive decrease in risk of cataract comparing high meat eaters to low meat eaters, fish eaters (participants who ate fish but not meat), vegetarians, and vegans respectively. Continue reading