PROPOSAL:The aim of this study was to examine the association between the consumption of total and specific types of dairy products and the risk of incident cataracts in an elderly Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. METHODS:We prospectively analyzed 5860 subjects from the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) Study. The time to cataract surgery was calculated as the time between recruitment and the date of the surgery, last visit of the follow-up, date of death, or until the end of the study. Dairy products intake was assessed using validated food frequency questionnaires. We used Cox proportional hazard regression to assess the risk of cataract surgery according to average dietary energy-adjusted total dairy products, milk, yogurt and cheese consumption. RESULTS:We documented a total of 768 new cataract events after a median of 5.6 years of follow-up. Subjects in the second [hazard ratio (HR) 0.62; 95% CI 0.52, 0.74] and third tertile (HR: 0.71; 95% CI 0.60, 0.85) of skimmed yogurt intake had a significantly lower risk of cataracts after adjusting for potential confounders. No significant associations were observed for total dairy products, whole and skimmed milk, whole yogurt and cheese consumption. CONCLUSION:The intake of skimmed yogurt was associated with a reduced risk of cataracts in an elderly Mediterranean population with high cardiovascular risk. No significant associations were observed for other type of dairy product. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 35739639. Registration date: 5 October 2005.