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Relationship Between Dementia Risk and Cataract Surgery

Posted on: May 3rd, 2024 by Our Team

A study conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology, Samsung Medical Center noted that cataract surgery can reduce the risk of dementia in those patients with vision challenges, particularly among those who are younger and male.  (Lee C. Shin, Kim M et al, The Effect of Cataract Surgery on the Risk of Dementia: A Nationwide Cohort Study, J Clin Med., 2023).  The researchers conducted a retrospective nationwide cohort study because they found that advanced age is recognized as a risk factor for cataracts and surgery.

The objective of the study was to determine the effects of cataract surgery on the incidence of dementia in the Korean population.  The data was obtained from the Korean National Health Insurance Services collected from 2006-2017.  There were 300,327 subjects in the study who were 45 years of age and older and who had been diagnosed with cataracts.  None of those participating in the study had been previously diagnosed with dementia.

The relationship between cataracts and dementia was evaluated with adjustments for age, sex, visual acuity, ocular and systemic comorbidities and demographic factors such as body mass index, income, smoking and drinking.  The cataract surgery showed a marginal difference in dementia development because both cataract and dementia share common risk factors.  A subgroup analysis of men and patients younger than 65 years who underwent cataract surgery and good visual acuity had a significantly lower incidence of dementia.

Union Square Eye Care physicians recommend regular eye exams for our patients that will also enable detection of cataracts and an appropriate treatment plan, i.e., monitoring and when surgical intervention is recommended. 

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