Cataract/Anterior Segment

Cataract Surgery-Traffic Accident Link Investigated

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Cataract surgery is linked with a small decrease in a patient’s risk of having a serious traffic accident, according to a population-based individual-patient self-matching exposure-crossover design study involving nearly 560,000 individuals.

Participants were ≥65 years of age (average age 76) from Ontario, Canada who had their first cataract extraction between early 2006 and 2016. Investigators looked at the rate of emergency department visits for a traffic accident as a driver. Among the results:

  • 2.36 traffic accidents per 1,000 patient-years were observed during a 3.5-year baseline interval before cataract surgery (4,680 total).
  • 2.14 per 1,000 patient-years were seen during a 1-year subsequent interval (1,200 total).
  • The change represented a 3% reduced risk.
  • Younger patients were 27% more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • The same was true for those with a history of crash (nearly 3 times more likely); more emergency visits (34% more likely), and frequent outpatient physician visits (17% more likely).

Schlenker M, Thiruchelvam D, Redeerlmeier D.  Association of cataract surgery with traffic crashes. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(9):998-1007. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.2510.

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