Cataract surgery from a gender perspective--a population based study in Sweden

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 1998 Dec;76(6):711-6. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.1998.760617.x.


Purpose: To determine the presence of any gender-related differences of preoperative subjective visual functional problems that may explain the higher frequency of cataract surgery found in women.

Methods: All patients (n=453) who, during a one-year period, underwent cataract surgery at Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden, were included in the study. Incidence, age-distribution, visual acuity, self-estimated ability to perform vision dependent tasks as well as subjective symptoms from the cataractous eyes preoperatively and visual acuity after surgery were analyzed separately in males and females.

Results: Before surgery there were no statistically significant differences between men and women in visual acuity of the eyes to be operated on and the fellow eyes. Preoperatively women had significantly more subjective problems with distance-estimation for near and far (57% and 60%, respectively) compared to males (45% and 43%, respectively). Women had significantly larger problems orientating in unfamiliar surroundings.

Conclusion: There are gender-related differences in self-assessed visual function before surgery that might contribute to the higher incidence of cataract surgery in women. Preoperatively women experience a higher degree of visual functional problems than men. Women were not found to demand cataract surgery earlier than men when preoperative visual acuities were compared.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Cataract Extraction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity