February 06, 2019
1 min read

Less self-reported cataract surgery among those with dementia

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Researchers suggest that cataract surgery may be underutilized in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.

Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) was used to test the hypothesis that beneficiaries with cognitive impairment and dementia are less likely to undergo cataract surgery than those with normal cognition.

The authors said the NHATS was a longitudinal survey administered to a nationally representative cohort of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older each year. Participants who reported cataract surgery before enrollment were excluded.

Those with possible and probable cognitive impairment and dementia were significantly less likely to receive cataract surgery than those with normal cognition, researchers found.

“It is possible that cognitive impairment and dementia is a proxy for other correctional factors [like older age, nonwhite race, lower educational attainment, lower income, etc.], which are also barriers to cataract extraction,” they wrote.

They encourage physicians to be aware of the potential underuse of, “this effective, low-risk treatment in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia,” researchers wrote. – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosure: Stagg reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for all remaining authors’ financial disclosures.