A recent study found that people who had undergone cataract surgery had a 16% lower risk of hip fracture one year after the procedure.
Falls and the resulting bone fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly. Every year in the United, 350,000 people experience a hip fracture. And by the year 2050, this number is expected to be as high as 650,000 hip fractures annually. That is nearly 1,800 hip fractures a day.
Hip Fracture Statistics
- Fall-related injuries cost the United States more than $10 billion in healthcare costs in 2000 alone.
- 90% of all hip fractures in the United States are the result of a fall.
- The cost of hip fracture care averages $26,912 per patient.
- Only 25% of hip fracture patients make a full recovery.
- 40% of hip fracture patients require nursing home care.
- 50% of hip fracture patients need a cane or walker.
- 24% of hip fracture patients over the age of 50 pass away within 12 months of the injury.
Cataract Surgery & the Prevention of Hip Fractures
A new study suggests that cataract surgery could reduce the possibility of hip fractures in the elderly by as much as 23%. This makes sense considering vision impairment is one of the major risk factors for falls among the elderly.
“Cataract surgery has already been demonstrated to be a cost-effective intervention for visual improvement,” wrote researcher Victoria Tseng, MD, of Brown University, and colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The results in this study suggest the need for further investigation of the additional potential benefit of cataract surgery as a cost-effective intervention to decrease the incidence of fractures in the elderly.”
Researchers studied the risk of hip fracture for one year among the more than 1 million Medicare patients age 65 and older who had been diagnosed with cataracts between 2002 and 2009. And of these individuals, 36.9% had cataract surgery during the study period.
13,976 people (1.3%) had a hip fracture during the study.
Researchers found that people who had undergone cataract surgery had a 16% lower risk of hip fracture one year after the procedure.
“In patients with severe cataract, the association between cataract surgery and lower odds of hip fracture was even stronger, with a 23% reduction in the adjusted odds of hip fracture in the cataract surgery group compared with the cataract diagnosis group,” wrote researchers.
What are Cataracts?
As we age, our eyes undergo natural wear and tear, resulting in the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. This clouding is known as cataracts. This is a normal part of the aging process. If we live long enough, we will all develop cataracts at some point in our lives.
“I like to compare it to the clear plastic window in the back of a convertible car,” said board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles, M.D. “After years of exposure to sun and weather, the plastic becomes yellow and cloudy.”
Anne Arundel Eye Center: Cataracts Treatment in Annapolis, Maryland
A regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, Anne Arundel Eye Center offers a wide range of advanced procedures to improve and preserve your vision. Anne Arundel Eye Center provides complete medical eye exams as well as diagnostic surgical eye care. Should you require surgery, your comfort and wellbeing are our top priority. From pre-op testing to post-op care, you can be assured you’re in expert hands.
To learn more about Cataracts, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. Vision problems may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.