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Cataract Surgeries on the Rise

Posted Nov 08 2013 10:08pm

Cataracts are a common cause of blurred vision with aging. In the United States, age-related cataracts affect at least 22 million people and cost an estimated $6.8 billion to treat each year; the cataract caseload is expected to rise to 30 million people by 2020. Jay C. Erie, from the Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, focusing on 8,012 cataract surgeries during a six-year period. The team found that during this time, incident cataract surgery significantly increased, peaking in 2011 with a rate of 1100 per 100,000. Further, the probability of second-eye surgery 3, 12, and 24 months after first-eye surgery was 60%, 76%, and 86%, respectively, a significant increase compared with the same intervals in the previous 7 years. The study authors warn that: “Incident cataract surgery steadily increased over the past 32 years and has not leveled off … Second-eye surgery was performed sooner and more frequently, with 60% of residents having second-eye surgery within 3 months of first-eye surgery.”

Heidrun E. Gollogly, David O. Hodge, Jennifer L. St. Sauver, Jay C. Erie. “Increasing incidence of cataract surgery: Population-based study.” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Vol. 39, Issue 9, Pages 1383-1389, September 2013.

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