1. Patients with cataract were classified into undernourished (twenty-eight subjects) and well-nourished (twenty-seven subjects) groups based on the anthropomtric index, weight (kg)/height (m)2. Those with a value for the index of less than 18 were considered as undernourished.
2. Lenses were classified into four groups on the basis of nuclear colour as proposed by Pirie (1968). Lenses of pale uniform colour or yellow colour were included in group 1, those with brownish-yellow nucleus in group 2, those with a yellowish-brown nucleus in group 3 and those with brown nucleus in group 4.
3. Irrespective of group, the wet weight, dry weight, percentage moisture and total protein content of cataractous lenses from undernourished patients were similar, as were the corresponding values for well-nourished patients. On the other hand, the percentage of soluble proteins in lenses tended to decrease with deepening of nuclear colour in both groups of patients. Further, soluble protein concentrations in lenses from undernourished patients were significantly lower as compared to those from well-nourished patients.
4. The results suggest that nutritional factors could influence the composition of cataractous lenses.