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Cataract surgery reduces hip fractures in seniors

A recent study shows that cataract surgery reduces the incidence of hip fractures. Led by Dr. Anne L. Coleman, a professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, the study examined 40,000 Medicare patients who had cataract surgery, and looked at the occurrence of hip fractures in these patients within one year of the procedure. The research found that Medicare patients who received cataract surgery were 16 percent less likely to experience hip fractures compared to a matched group of Medicare patients with untreated cataracts. This study illustrates the heightened injury risk that accompanies vision loss in older individuals. A cataract is a clouding of the lens that frequently occurs with age, and it leads to a decline in visual sharpness and depth perception. These impediments affect a person’s ability to maintain proper balance and movement. Previous studies have shown that vision loss is a critical factor in seniors’ danger of falling. Removing cataracts is hence a necessary procedure that not only improves the quality of vision, but also significantly lowers the risk of hip fractures and likely other serious injuries that result from falling.*

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