Cataract surgery associated with lower risk of death

Women aged 65 and older who have cataract surgery have a lower risk for death.

While there have been prior studies that have put forth the possibility of decreased risk for all-cause mortality with cataract surgery, there had not been studies regarding the association between cataract surgery and cause-specific mortality.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles examined nationwide data from the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial. The database contained information from over 74,000 women who were 65 years and older and who had a diagnosis of cataracts. Over 40,000 of these women underwent cataract surgery. Participants who underwent cataract surgery were found to have a 60 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 37 percent to 69 percent lower risk of death due to pulmonary, accidental, infectious, neurologic and vascular diseases and cancer.

It was noted that the results could not be generalized to male patients and that further study would be necessary to determine the role that cataract surgery plays in regards to systemic disease and disease-related mortality.*

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