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AAO-sponsored research shows cataract surgery can reduce hip fracture risk
Date:8/1/2012

SAN FRANCISCO August 1, 2012 A major study of Medicare beneficiaries shows that the risk of hip fractures was significantly reduced in patients who had had cataract surgery, compared to patients who did not undergo the procedure. Published in the August edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the researchers believe their study is the first to demonstrate that cataract surgery reduces the rate of fractures in older patients with vision loss. This suggests that cataract surgery could be an effective intervention to help prevent fractures and reduce associated morbidity and costs. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, collaborated on the study.

The study tracked hip fracture incidence in a cohort of Medicare patients with cataracts from 2002-09. Anne L. Coleman, M.D., Ph.D., the Fran and Ray Stark professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and director of the Academy's Hoskins Center for Quality Eye Care, led the research. The medical records of about 400,000 patients who had cataract surgery were analyzed for hip fractures that occurred within one year of cataract surgery. This data was then compared to hip fracture incidence in a matched group of patients who had cataracts, but did not have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery was associated with a 16 percent decrease in patients' adjusted odds of suffering a hip fracture within one year of the procedure.

This is particularly significant because older people's higher risk of falling makes them especially vulnerable to fractures of the hip and other bones. Previous studies have found that vision loss is a major factor in seniors' risk of falling. When visual sharpness and depth perception decline, people also lose their ability to maintain balance, stability and mobility.

"Our study suggests that people should never be regarded as 'too old
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
415-447-0221
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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