Purpose: To study the prevalence and incidence of age-related cataract in a random population sample from the town of Priverno in the Lazio Region, Italy.
Methods: In 1987, 860 people between the ages of 45 and 69 years, already participating in a study on cardiovascular risk factors, underwent an ophthalmological examination. Patients with lens opacities, assessed by a clinical biomicroscopy and a best-corrected VA equal to or worse than 0.2 LogMar (20/30), were defined as age-related cataract cases. Of the 828 patients without age-related cataract at the baseline, 602 were re-examined in 1994. The 7-year Cumulative Incidence was calculated in three ways, as follows: - referring to the baseline sample without age-related cataract; - referring to the follow-up sample without age-related cataract at baseline; and - adjusted for non-response to the follow-up.
Results: In the baseline sample, the prevalence of age-related cataract was 3.7% (2.7%-5.2%, 95% C.I.). Cumulative Incidence referring to the baseline sample was 6.5% (4. 8%-8.2%, 95% C.I.); Cumulative Incidence referring to the follow-up sample was 9.0% (6.7%-11.3%, 95% C.I.). Adjusted Cumulative Incidence of age-related cataract was 7.6% (5.6%-9.5%, 95% C.I.).
Conclusions: The study suggests that, in the Priverno sample, aging, but not gender, is a very important risk factor for cataract. The authors conclude that more information is needed on incidence of age-related cataract needing surgical rehabilitation and on risk factors causing both progression of lens opacities and visual loss.