Cataract Surgery May Cut Risk of Serious Car Accidents

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 — Cataract surgery is associated with a modest decrease in the risk of the patient being in a serious traffic crash as the driver, according to a study published online June 28 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Matthew B. Schlenker, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a comprehensive longitudinal analysis to assess whether cataract surgery (April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2016) is associated with a reduction in serious traffic crashes where the patient was the driver (559,546 patients; age, ≥65 years).

The researchers found that there were 4,680 traffic crashes during the 3.5-year baseline interval and 1,200 traffic crashes during the one-year subsequent interval, yielding 0.22 fewer crashes per 1,000 patient-years following cataract surgery (odds ratio [OR], 0.91). There were no significant reductions in other outcomes, including traffic crashes where the patient was a passenger or pedestrian. There remained a higher risk of subsequent traffic crashes among patients with younger age (OR, 1.27), male sex (OR, 1.64), a history of crash (baseline OR, 2.79), more emergency visits (OR, 1.34), and frequent outpatient physician visits (OR, 1.17).

“This study suggests that cataract surgery is associated with a modest decrease in a patient’s subsequent risk of a serious traffic crash as a driver, which has potential implications for mortality, morbidity, and costs to society,” the authors write.

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Posted: July 2018

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