Investigators find cataract surgery can lead to falls

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Australian researchers have found that falls and fractures among the elderly increase after cataract surgery, according to a new study that contradicts findings published earlier this month.

The new study observed that patients had a 27% higher fall-related hospitalization risk in the year following cataract surgery, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Researchers, led by the University of Curtin's Lynn B. Meuleners, Ph.D., report that the increase was seen mostly in study subjects over age 80, Reuters reported.

A study published earlier this month found that similar study participants had a 28% reduced risk of fractures after the surgery.

Meuleners told Reuters that a key difference between the studies is that hers tracked seniors' first-time cataract removals. Additionally, those who had surgery in only one eye could have “lopsided” vision that led to falling.

"One would expect better vision if both eyes had successful cataract surgery in a short period of time — generally 2 to 6 weeks. Therefore, ‘both eye' patients may have lower risk of falls if vision is a risk factor," Meuleners told the news service.

Click here for the abstract.