A recent study published October 2017 in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Ophthalmology found women who undergo cataract surgery may get an unexpected benefit – a longer life! The study included more than 74,000 U.S. women aged 65 or older, including nearly 42,000 who’d had the eye procedure. Obtaining cataract surgery was associated with a 60 percent reduced risk of early death from all causes and a 37 to 69 percent reduced risk of death due to accidents, lung and heart diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and neurological disorders!
It is worth noting, the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect — maybe women who opt for cataract surgery simply take better care of themselves, although the researchers did factor in lifestyle issues such as obesity and exercise. Previous research has suggested a lower risk of premature death after cataract surgery may be due to improvements in overall health and in day-to-day functioning. The investigators noted it’s not clear if the same findings would apply to men (poor men, who already have shortened life spans compared to women).
“The fact that those with good vision are better able to function and maintain independence, this is not what this study elucidates,” said Dr. Amilia Schrier, an ophthalmologist who specializes in cataract surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital in New York City. She observes it may very well be the women who were enrolled in the databases behind the study may be more health-conscious and “apt to seek medical care and receive such care as opposed to those who do not have surgery.” According to Schrier, cataracts are a “leading cause of curable blindness and visual impairment.”
It is unquestionable that the quality of life is often dramatically improved following cataract surgery simply by obtaining better vision. If you have any questions and wonder if you can benefit from cataract surgery, schedule a friendly consultation at our office. I’d be happy to enlighten you!
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on cataracts.
SOURCES: Amilia Schrier, M.D., ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and corneal surgery, Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, New York City; Matthew Gorski, M.D., ophthalmologist, Northwell Health, Great Neck, N.Y.; JAMA Ophthalmology, news release, Oct. 26, 2017