Older patients have lower risk of hip fracture after cataract surgery

July 31, 2012, JAMA and Archives Journals

Medicare patients 65 years and older who underwent cataract surgery had a lower odds of hip fracture 1 year after the procedure when compared with patients with cataract who did not have cataract surgery, according to a study in the August 1 issue of JAMA.

Visual impairment has been found to be strongly associated with an increased risk of fractures, a significant cause of illness and death in the . "Specifically, vision plays an important role in providing a for postural balance and stability, and cataract-induced changes in vision have been found to be associated with postural instability," according to background information in the article. "Furthermore, cataracts have been found to be the most common cause of fracture-related visual impairment, with untreated cataract causing up to 49 percent of in patients with femoral neck fractures related to decreased vision." Despite the association of and cataracts with increased fall and fracture risk, only a limited number of studies have examined the influence of cataract surgery on fall incidence in visually impaired adults.

Victoria L. Tseng, M.D., of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, R.I., and colleagues examined the association between cataract surgery and fracture incidence at 1-year. The study included a 5 percent random sample of Medicare Part B beneficiaries with cataract who received and did not receive cataract surgery from 2002 through 2009. Analyses were adjusted for various factors.

There were 1,113,640 65 years and older with a diagnosis of cataract between 2002 and 2009 in the 5 percent random sample. Of these patients, the majority were female (60 percent) and white (88 percent). Of patients with cataract, 410,809 (36.9 percent) underwent cataract surgery during the study period. During this period, the overall 1-year fracture incidence was 1.3 percent (n = 13,976) for hip fractures. Analysis of the data indicated that cataract surgery was associated with a 16 percent decrease in the adjusted odds of 1 year after the procedure. "In patients with severe cataract, the association between cataract surgery and lower odds of hip fracture was even stronger, with a 23 percent reduction in the adjusted odds of hip fracture in the cataract surgery group compared with the cataract diagnosis group," the authors write.

Osteoporosis was the most common fracture-related comorbidity (co-existing illness) (12.1 percent). The most common ocular comorbidity was glaucoma (19.1 percent).

"Cataract surgery may be associated with lower odds of subsequent fracture in patients aged 65 years and older in the U.S. Medicare population. Future prospective studies using standardized registries of patients with cataracts will help further elucidate the association between cataract surgery and . Cataract surgery has already been demonstrated to be a cost-effective intervention for visual improvement, with an estimated cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained for cataract surgery in the first eye of $2,023 in the United States and $2,727 in the second eye. The results in this study suggest the need for further investigation of the additional potential benefit of as a cost-effective intervention to decrease the incidence of fractures in the elderly," the researchers conclude.

Explore further: Mood, cognition and sleep patterns improve in Alzheimer's patients after cataract surgery

More information: JAMA. 2012;308[5]:493-501.

Related Stories

Mood, cognition and sleep patterns improve in Alzheimer's patients after cataract surgery

October 25, 2011
Researchers at Tenon Hospital, Paris, France, found that patients with mild Alzheimer's disease whose vision improved after cataract surgery also showed improvement in cognitive ability, mood, sleep patterns and other behaviors. ...

Glaucoma stent approved

June 26, 2012
(HealthDay) -- An ocular stent that's designed to reduce inner-eye pressure among people with mild or moderate open-angle glaucoma has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Recommended for you

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

New study validates clotting risk factors in chronic kidney disease

January 17, 2018
In late 2017, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) discovered and published (Science Translational Medicine, (9) 417, Nov 2017) a potential treatment target to prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD) ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

Newly-discovered TB blood signal provides early warning for at-risk patients

January 17, 2018
Tuberculosis can be detected in people with HIV infection via a unique blood signal before symptoms appear, according to a new study by researchers from the Crick, Imperial College London and the University of Cape Town.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.