Researchers evaluated the association between cataract surgery and mortality in a 5% random sample of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries. Overall, those who had cataract surgery lived longer.
Data was collected over a 10-year period from a cohort of more than 1.5 million patients. This is the largest study of its kind making the results more valid since the sample size was so high. Patients who had cataract surgery had a nearly 30% less mortality compared with those who did not have cataract surgery.
The association between extended life span and cataract surgery was significant outside of differences in systemic health problems like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetis. The association was strongest in women, in 80 to 84 year olds, and in those living in Western states.
The authors of this study hypothesize that cataract surgery improves a patient’s ability to care for themselves and remain physically and socially active, thus prolonging their life.