Effect of Cataract Surgery on Falls and Mobility in Independently Living Older Adults

Authors

  • Gerald McGwin Jr MS, PhD,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Section of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, and §Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
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  • Hilary D. Gewant MA,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Section of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, and §Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
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  • Kayvon Modjarrad,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Section of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, and §Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
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  • Tyler Andrew Hall MD,

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Section of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, and §Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
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  • Cynthia Owsley MSPH, PhD

    1. From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Section of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, and §Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.
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Address correspondence to Gerald McGwin, Jr, MS, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 700 S 18th Street, Suite 609, Birmingham, AL 35294. E-mail: mcgwin@uab.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of cataract surgery on the occurrence of falls and mobility and balance problems in older adults with cataract.

DESIGN: Longitudinal follow-up study.

SETTING: Clinical Research Unit, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

PARTICIPANTS: Persons aged 55 and older with a cataract were recruited from 12 eye clinics in Alabama from October 1994 through March 1996. Participants were classified into two groups: those who had cataract surgery (surgery group, n=122) and those who had not (no-surgery group, n=92).

MEASUREMENTS: At baseline and 1-year follow-up visits, information on the occurrence of falls and mobility and balance problems was collected based on subjects' recall of events during the prior 12 months.

RESULTS: After adjusting for demographic, behavioral, medical, and visual characteristics, there was no difference between the two groups in the likelihood of falling (risk ratio (RR)=0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.64–1.42) or in having mobility (RR=0.81, 95% CI=0.55–1.18) or balance difficulties (RR=0.71, 95% CI=0.37–1.39).

CONCLUSION: Cataract surgery had no association with the occurrence of falls or mobility or balance problems in independently living older adults with a cataract.

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