Abstract Data from the 1973 to 1975 Framingham Eye Study were used to estimate the prevalence rates of nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular lens opacities in persons between ages 52 and 85 years. The rates for each of the opacities increased rapidly with age, so that for the oldest age group, 75 years and over, nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular opacities were found in 65.5%, 27.7% and 19.7% of persons, respectively. Nuclear opacities were the most commonly diagnosed lens change. Each of the opacities was found more often in women than in men. Among persons with senile lens changes, the proportion with more than one type of change increased from 26.5% for ages 52 to 64 years, to 47.1 % for ages 75 to 85 years. The high prevalence rates for senile lens opacities (over 75% for persons aged 75 to 85 years) and the frequent occurrence of opacities in combination create methodological problems for epidemiologic studies of lens opacities.