A recent study of senior citizens with cataracts revealed that people who had cataract surgery were less likely to be the victim of a hip fracture in the next year compared to those who did not undergo cataract surgery. These findings indicate that eyesight does play a role in falls resulting in hip fractures. Falls can be caused by a change in depth perception as well as a change in contrast sensitivity. Cataracts cloud the eye's lens and do cause problems with seeing contrast. The study involved more than one million Medicare patients who were diagnosed with cataracts. 37 percent of those in the study had cataract surgery between 2002 and 2009. Researchers determined that those individuals who had cataract surgery had a 16 percent lower chance of fracturing a hip and a five percent lower risk of all other types of fractures compared to people who elected against having cataract surgery. In addition, those individuals who had severe cataracts and underwent cataract surgery had a 23 percent lower chance of hip fracture. While cataract surgery does come with a risk of infection, it is considered a safe procedure and the cost typically runs about $3,000.
Decreased likelihood of hip fractures associated with cataract surgery
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 15 August, 2012