(HealthDay News) – Surgical correction of visual impairment (VI) due to cataract is associated with significantly better long-term survival in older persons after adjusting for known cataract and mortality risk factors and indicators of general health, according to a study published in the September issue of Ophthalmology.

Calvin Sze-un Fong, MBBS, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues analyzed data from 354 participants in the Blue Mountains Eye Study (aged ≥49 years) who had both cataract and VI or had undergone cataract surgery before baseline examinations. Participants were examined after five and 10 years.

The researchers found that, after adjusting for age and sex, participants who underwent cataract surgery and no longer had VI had significantly lower long-term mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR], 0.6) than participants with VI due to cataract who had not undergone surgery. This association between lower mortality risk in the group and surgically corrected VI remained after further adjustment for smoking, body mass index, home ownership, qualifications, poor self-rated health, the presence of poor mobility, hypertension, diabetes, and other comorbidities (HR, 0.54), as well as after additional adjustment for the number of medications taken (HR, 0.55).

“This finding strongly supports many previous reports linking VI with poor survival,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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