Cataract surgery could prolong your LifeWednesday 31 January 2018
A 20-year study of over 74,000 American women with cataracts has shown a 60 percent lower risk of death among the women who had their cataracts removed.
Remarkably, the 41,735 women who had surgery were more ill to begin with - as a group, they had more glaucoma, peptic ulcers, heart attacks and chronic pulmonary disease. Post-surgery, those same women had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular, pulmonary and infectious diseases, as well as cancer and accidents.
Dr. Anne L. Coleman who published the study explains that when people can see better, "they can also move more and get more exercise. They can see their pills better and may be more likely to take them and take the right ones. The surgery also improves visual contrast, which decreases the risk of accidental deaths from falls or driving."
Although the same trend has been spotted previously in smaller groups of men, the authors of this new study say that the results should not be applied to males without further large-scale study.
While cataract surgery itself is not without risk, it is one of the most successful forms of surgery. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists say that fewer than 2% of patients have serious, unforeseen complications.
So the message for women at least seems fairly clear - better sight for a longer life.
Association of Cataract Surgery With Mortality in Older Women.
New York Times:
Cataract Surgery May Prolong Your Life.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists: