Cataracts Aren't Hip

A US Study has been gathering information from over a million people aged 65 years and over who have suffered from cataracts. The number included just under half a million who had had surgery to have the cataracts removed.

Cataracts cause cloudy spots on the eyes lens and distorts vision with blurriness or mistiness. This can increase the risk of tumbling over and can affect a sufferers balance. Cataracts are in fact the most common vision problem linked to bone breakages. One would assume that by removing a cataract your risk of falling or getting a fracture would be removed. However the study in the States sets out to discover whether this is in fact the case.

The researchers have looked at how many people suffered hip fractures after cataract surgery, compared with how many people broke their hip within a year if they didn't have surgery.

The study reported that patients who had received surgery for their cataracts were indeed less likely to break their hip than those who didn't have surgery.

The researchers accounted for factors that can affect the risk of falls eg. age, overall health, and whether people had  a pre-existing bone disease, they estimated that the risk of a broken hip was 16 percent lower for those who had surgery. So for every 507 people who went through cataract surgery, one fewer person would suffer a fracture over twelve months.

When patients with severe cataracts were looked at closely, those who had  received surgery were 23 % less likely to  fracture their hip compared with those who didn't have surgery.

To date this is the largest study to look at the risk of fracture and cataract surgery. All previous studies were too few in subject number to draw a clear outcome.

What can't be clearly defined is that people had a lower risk of fracture because of their cataracts surgery, as there can likely be other things that  affected their risk. What they couldn't account for were things such as what medicines people were taking, or if they had a chequered history of falling history or even how much alcohol they consumed regularly which will all have affect on the findings.