WDEL's Delaware HealthWatch
with Frank Gerace

Cataracts and Hip Fracture Risk

Doctors are looking at lowering the risk of hip fractures in elderly people through cataract surgery.

Cataracts, most commonly found in older adults, reult from clouding of the lenses of the eyes, and can alter the way sufferers see colors, as well as cause problems with depth perception and impair balance, leading to falls and broken bones.

A recent study looked at the connection between cataract surgery and hip fracture risk in older Americans.

Dr. Anne Coleman, from UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute : "Individuals who had cataract surgery had lower rates of hip fractures in the year after the cataract surgery. This was more so in individuals who had diseases such as osteoporosis and glaucoma."

Dr. Coleman and her colleagues recently led a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that looked at data from more than a million Medicare beneficiaries from 2002 to 2009 who were diagnosed with cataracts.

Almost 39% had cataract surgery. The rest didn't.

Researchers compared hip fracture rates in both groups, and Dr. Coleman says the findings varied depending on the subject's ages.

Dr. Coleman: "We did see that it was protective if you're 75 and older, but it was the 80-to 84-year-olds that really had the most benefit."

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