November 20, 2018
Cataract Surgery May Prolong Lives
Health News

Cataract Surgery May Prolong Lives

by Wellness Letter  

People with cataracts who have surgery for them are at reduced risk for premature death compared to those who don’t have them removed, according to a study from the Women’s Health Initiative in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Of 74,000 women with cataracts, 42,000 underwent the surgery and were followed for up to 20 years. The surgery group had a 60 percent lower all-cause mortality rate, including reduced death rates from cardiovascular, lung, neurologic, and infectious diseases as well as from cancer and accidents (such as falls).

The researchers controlled for demographics, initial health, weight, and various other factors, but since this was an observational study, it couldn’t prove that the benefits were completely due to improved vision. While they attempted to control for such baseline characteristics, the researchers noted that it’s possible that women who underwent cataract surgery got better overall health care and had a healthier lifestyle than the nonsurgery group, which could help explain the mortality benefit.

This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Also see Common Eye Disorders Explained: Cataracts, Glaucoma, AMD