• Cataract/Anterior Segment

    This analysis of participants in the Blue Mountains Eye Study predicted that seven in 10 people age 49 and older would develop significant cataract over the next decade and two in 10 would require cataract surgery. Cataract diagnosis and cataract surgery incidence among the study's participants were significantly greater in women than men and were both positively associated with increasing age. The incidence rates found in this study are similar to those previously reported by the Beaver Dam Eye Study.

    The current study is part of the large, population-based cohort study of vision and eye diseases in an urban population in part of Australia's Blue Mountains region west of Sydney. All residents age 49 and older living in the included area were eligible to participate, and 2564 of them became subjects in the cataract study. They underwent eye examinations at baseline and during at least one of the scheduled five- and 10-year follow-up visits.

    Nuclear cataract was diagnosed in 36.0 percent of them during the 10-year study period, cortical cataract in 27.9 percent, and posterior subcapsular cataract in 9.1 percent. The cataract surgery rate was 17.8 percent during the study period, with mean age when undergoing surgery on the first eye 75.8 years and on the second eye 76.2 years. Nearly half of those who had surgery on their first eye during the study period were in their seventies. Among those who developed cataract, 22 percent were diagnosed with more than one type. Both nuclear and cortical opacities were found in 13.4 percent of study participants, nuclear and posterior subcapsular opacities in 4.8 percent, cortical and posterior subcapsular opacities in 2.6 percent, and all three types in 1.3 percent.

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