(HealthDay News) – Elderly patients with cataract who receive cataract surgery have a reduced likelihood of subsequent hip fracture, compared with those who do not undergo surgery, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

To examine the association between cataract surgery and subsequent fracture risk, Victoria L Tseng, MD, from Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed a 5% random sample of 1,113,640 Medicare Part B beneficiaries with cataract, 36.9% of which received cataract surgery from 2002–2009.

During the study period the researchers found that 1.3% of patients sustained a hip fracture, with osteoporosis being the most common fracture-related comorbidity (12.1%). Glaucoma was the most common ocular comorbidity (19.1%). The adjusted odds ratio of hip fracture within one year after cataract surgery was 0.84, compared to the one-year hip fracture incidence in cataract patients who did not have cataract surgery. Patient subgroups that experienced lower odds of hip fracture after cataract surgery included patients with severe cataract, patients most likely to receive cataract surgery based on propensity score, patients ≥75 years, and patients with a Charlson Comorbidity Index score of ≥3, compared with matched patient subgroups that did not receive surgery.

“Cataract surgery may be associated with lower odds of subsequent fracture in patients aged ≥65 years in the US Medicare population,” the authors write. “Future prospective studies using standardized registries of patients with cataracts will help further elucidate the association between cataract surgery and fracture risk.”

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