A recent study shows the risk of hip fractures is greatly reduced for Medicare patients who undergo cataract surgery compared to those who have cataracts, but do not have them removed.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, collaborated on the study, which was published in the August edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researches tracked hip fracture incidences from 2002-09 by analyzing the medical records of about 800,000 cataracts patients, half of whom had undergone cataract surgery. Cataract surgery was associated with a 16 percent decrease in the likelihood of suffering a hip injury within the first year after the procedure.
The high risk of falling among the older population makes them especially susceptible to hip injuries. Previous studies have found that loss of vision plays a major role in seniors’ increased risk of falling. Overall, the greatest reduction in hip fracture risk was seen in patients aged 80 to 84.
“A lot of patients think they’re too old for cataract surgery,” says Dr. Stephen Scoper of Virginia Eye Consultants. “This study shows the opposite. It’s especially important to have cataracts removed at an older age–not only for your quality of life, but for your safety.”