Corneal Physician Bulletin: Cataract Removal Significantly Linked with Lower Dementia Risk

           Based on 23,554 person-years of follow-up, cataract removal was associated with a notably reduced risk (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.62-0.83; P < .001) of dementia compared with participants who did not undergo surgery, after controlling for education years, self-reported white race, and smoking history and stratifying by apolipoprotein E genotype, sex, and age group at cataract diagnosis, reports a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.1 Additionally, close outcomes were acquired in marginal structural models after adjusting for a comprehensive list of potential confounders. 
            The study was comprised of 3,038 subjects who were dementia free at enrollment (mean [SD] age at first cataract diagnosis, 74.4 [6.2] years; 1800 women [59%] and 1238 men [41%]; and 2752 [91%] self-reported white race). 
            The subjects — members of the Adult Changes in Thought study, an ongoing, population-based cohort of randomly selected, cognitively normal members of Kaiser Permanente Washington — were followed up biennially until incident dementia (all-cause, Alzheimer disease, or Alzheimer disease and related dementia set in). Data were collected from 1994 through Sept. 30, 2018, and were assessed between April 6, 2019, and Sept. 15, 2021.
            If corroborated in additional studies, cataract extraction could have clinical relevance in older individuals at risk of developing dementia, the study’s researchers say. 
            Incidentally, a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology,  patients who had AMD, cataract or diabetes-related eye disease were at a greater risk of dementia, and individuals who had both ophthalmic and systemic conditions were at a higher risk of dementia vs. those with an ophthalmic or systemic condition alone. See
1. Lee CS, Gibbons LE, Lee AY, et al. Association Between Cataract Extraction and Development of Dementia. JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 6, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.6990