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Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep;124(9):1308-14.

Longitudinal rates of cataract surgery.

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  • 1Departments of Ophthalmology and Economics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.



To determine the cumulative probability of cataract surgery and factors accounting for such surgery.


Respondents to the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old survey, a national longitudinal panel, were interviewed in 1998, 2000, and 2002 to determine whether they had undergone cataract extraction since the previous interview (N = 8363 in 1998). Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors affecting cataract surgery rates.


The annual incidence of cataract surgery from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2002, was 7.4%. The prevalence of unilateral pseudophakia increased from 7.6% in 1998 to 9.8% in 2002; the prevalence of bilateral pseudophakia increased from 10.5% in 1998 to 22.3% in 2002. The self-reported vision of persons undergoing cataract surgery improved related to that of others (a difference of 0.4 on a 9-point scale; P<.001). Black individuals were less likely to undergo cataract surgery than white individuals (P<.01). The highest rates of surgery were for persons who were 65 years or older in 1998. However, persons with Medicare parts A and B coverage underwent more procedures than those with primary private employer-based coverage or the uninsured.


At 5.3%, the cataract surgery incidence is similar to that given in previous reports. Persons undergoing cataract surgery more often had low self-reported vision before surgery, and their vision improved on average relative to others after surgery.

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