A new study has found that people with cataract-related vision loss who undergo surgery for the condition have a 40% lower long-term mortality risk than those who opt not to have surgery, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) said in a press release about a recently published study in its journal.
Researchers evaluated a total of 354 cataract patients aged 49 years and older enrolled in the Blue Mountains Eye Study between 1997 and 2007. Some had undergone cataract surgery while others had not. Subjects were evaluated five and 10 years after baseline exams.
The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications, AAO said. The study acknowledged that participants with cataract-related visual impairment who did not have cataract surgery could have had other health problems preventing them from undergoing surgery, and that these other health problems could partly explain the poorer survival among non-surgical participants.
EyeWorld Weekly Update (ISSN 1089-0319), a digital publication of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators, is published every Friday, distributed by email, and posted live on Friday.
Medical Editors: Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, chief medical editor; Rosa Braga-Mele, MD, cataract editor; Clara C. Chan, MD, cornea editor; Reay H. Brown, MD, glauco