Are cataracts associated with osteoporosis?

Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:2079-84. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S49927. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Abstract

Background: Calcium is considered an important factor in the development of both osteoporosis and cataract. This study evaluated the association between osteoporosis and cataracts.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of osteoporosis among patients undergoing cataract surgery, and the association between the two.

Patients and methods: This was a retrospective observational case-control study, conducted in the Central District of Clalit Health Services (a district of the largest health maintenance organization in Israel). All Clalit members in the district older than 50 years who underwent cataract surgery from 2000 to 2007 (n=12,984) and 25,968 age- and sex-matched controls comprised the sample. Electronic medical records of all patients in the study were reviewed. The main outcome measure was the prevalence of osteoporosis and the odds ratio of having osteoporosis among cataract patients compared with controls.

Results: Demographically, 41.8% were men with a mean age of 68.7 ± 8.2 years. A logistic regression model for osteoporosis showed that age, female sex, higher socioeconomic class, smoking, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and cataract are all associated with increased prevalence of osteoporosis. Obesity is a protective factor for osteoporosis. In all age-groups, osteoporosis was more prevalent in cataract patients than in the control group.

Conclusion: Among other well-known risk factors, osteoporosis is associated with the presence of cataracts. Common pathophysiological associations with both conditions, such as calcium imbalance, hormonal abnormalities, and shared genetic predisposition, are discussed.

Keywords: cataract; osteoporosis; risk factors.