Purpose: To investigate the long-term outcomes of cataract surgery by analyzing data collected 5 years after surgery and comparing with preoperative and postoperative subjective and objective visual function results.
Setting: Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.
Methods: A prospective longitudinal population-based cohort study comprised 810 patients who had cataract surgery during a 1-year period within a geographically defined area. Evaluated were visual acuity data and Visual Function-14 questionnaire (VF-14) results before and after surgery. Five years later, the 590 patients still alive were offered eye examinations and asked to fill out the questionnaire.
Results: Of the 590 patients asked to participate at 5 years, 530 answered the questionnaire and 467 had eye examinations. The median VF-14 total score for all patients after surgery was 100; at 5 years, the score decreased to 96.7 (P = .001). Five years after surgery, 46% of patients had unchanged or better visual acuity in the operated eye, 37% had lost more than 0.1 logMAR unit, and 22% had a reduction in VF-14 score of 10 points or more. The two main reasons for the decline in visual acuity and VF-14 scores were age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) (47% and 60%, respectively) and glaucoma (12% and 11%, respectively). Age, co-morbidity, and VF-14 scores after surgery were independently associated with the VF-14 score 5 years after surgery.
Conclusions: Subjective and objective visual function 5 years after cataract surgery remained stable in most patients. Co-morbidity, most commonly ARMD, was the most frequent cause of deterioration of visual acuity and decrease in VF-14 scores. Age and co-morbidity were independently associated with the VF-14 score 5 years after surgery.