(HealthDay News) — For older women with cataract, cataract surgery is associated with lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Victoria L. Tseng, MD, PhD, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues performed a prospective cohort study to examine the correlation between cataract surgery and total and cause-specific mortality in older women. Nationwide data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial and observational study were linked to the Medicare claims database. A total of 74,044 women with cataract were included in the WHI, of whom 41,735 underwent cataract surgery; mortality rates were compared by cataract surgery status.

The researchers found that in both groups, the mortality rate was 2.56 per 100 person-years. Cataract surgery was correlated with lower all-cause mortality in covariate-adjusted models (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.4), as well as lower vascular-, cancer-, accidental-, neurologic-, pulmonary-, and infectious diseases-specific mortality (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.42, 0.31, 0.44, 0.43, 0.63, and 0.44, respectively).

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“Whether this association is explained by the intervention of cataract surgery is unclear. Further study of the interplay of cataract surgery, systemic disease, and disease-related mortality would be informative for improved patient care,” the authors write.


Tseng VL, Chlebowski RT, Yu F, et al. Association of cataract surgery with mortality in older women. JAMA Ophthalmol. 26 Oct 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.4512