Association of Age-Related Cataract With Skin Cancer in an Australian Population

Skin Cancer

Sharma S, et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020.


PURPOSE: Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight contributes to age-related cataract and skin cancer. The EPHA2 gene is implicated in both these diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine whether age-related cataract and skin cancer are associated in a cohort of older Australians.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed using the Historical Cohort of the Registry of Senior Australians. Individuals aged ≥65 years or aged ≥50 years and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who had an aged care eligibility assessment between July 2005 and June 2015, and had a history of cataract surgery and/or skin cancer according to the Australian Government Medicare Benefits Schedule dataset, during the 3-year period prior, were evaluated (N = 599,316). A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine association and multiple hypothesis correction was employed.

RESULTS: Of the evaluated individuals, 87,097 (14.5%) had a history of cataract and 170,251 (28.4%) a history of skin cancer. Among those with a history of cataract, 20,497 (23.5%), 1127 (1.3%), and 14,730 (16.9%) individuals had a concurrent history of keratinocyte, melanoma, and premalignant/solar keratosis, respectively. Those with a history of cataract were 19% more likely to have a history of skin cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], (1.17-1.21). Co-occurrence of keratinocyte skin cancer was 16% (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.14-1.18), melanoma 21% (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.13-1.29), and premalignant/solar keratosis 19% (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.17-1.22) more in the presence than absence of history of cataract.

CONCLUSIONS: Age-related cataract is positively associated with skin cancer and its subtypes, including premalignant lesions in an older Australian population.