The association between self-reported cataracts and St. John's Wort.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND/AIMS: Recent interest in Hypericum perforatum, or St. John's Wort (SJW), is related to its observed utility in treating depression. However, mounting evidence suggests one component, hypericin, may be associated with cataractogenesis. To date, this association has not been evaluated in humans. Therefore, the current study assesses the relationship between self-reported SJW use and cataracts utilizing data from a large, population-based sample. METHODS: Self-reported data on SJW use in the past 12 months and cataract were obtained from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative population-based sample. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) between SJW use and cataracts were estimated using logistic regression. RESULTS: After adjusting for potential confounding characteristics, participants that reported having cataracts were 59% more likely to report SJW use (OR 1.59; 95% CI 1.02-2.46). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study provide support for an association between SJW use and cataracts. Based on the methodological limitations of this study, further investigation is required.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anthracenes, Cataract, Depression, Female, Humans, Hypericum, Lens, Crystalline, Male, Middle Aged, Perylene, Sex Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Whites
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Booth JN; McGwin G
  • Start Page

  • 863
  • End Page

  • 866
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 10