Seniors who have cataract surgery are at slightly lower risk for being in a car accident, according to a self-matched study in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Using Canadian health records, researchers identified over 550,000 seniors who underwent first cataract surgery between 2006 and 2016. During 5 years of observation, 6500 traffic crashes occurred in which these seniors were the drivers and were treated in the emergency department. The period after surgery was associated with lower rates of car crashes, compared with the baseline period, more than 6 months prior to surgery (2.14 vs. 2.36 per 1000 patient-years).
The authors estimate that nearly 5000 people would need to receive cataract surgery to prevent one serious traffic accident within 1 year. They write: “These results suggest the improvements in visual function from cataract surgery are associated with decreased driving risks.”