Objective: To determine the cumulative probability of cataract surgery and factors accounting for such surgery.
Methods: Respondents to the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old survey, a national longitudinal panel, were interviewed in 1998, 2000, and 2002 to determine whether they had undergone cataract extraction since the previous interview (N = 8363 in 1998). Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors affecting cataract surgery rates.
Results: The annual incidence of cataract surgery from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2002, was 7.4%. The prevalence of unilateral pseudophakia increased from 7.6% in 1998 to 9.8% in 2002; the prevalence of bilateral pseudophakia increased from 10.5% in 1998 to 22.3% in 2002. The self-reported vision of persons undergoing cataract surgery improved related to that of others (a difference of 0.4 on a 9-point scale; P<.001). Black individuals were less likely to undergo cataract surgery than white individuals (P<.01). The highest rates of surgery were for persons who were 65 years or older in 1998. However, persons with Medicare parts A and B coverage underwent more procedures than those with primary private employer-based coverage or the uninsured.
Conclusions: At 5.3%, the cataract surgery incidence is similar to that given in previous reports. Persons undergoing cataract surgery more often had low self-reported vision before surgery, and their vision improved on average relative to others after surgery.