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Brian Craig Stagg, Clair Ankuda, Ben Otte, Maria A Woodward; Cataract surgery in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):765.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) is an annual cohort study that evaluates the mood, quality of life, functional status, and health of a nationally representative cohort of Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older from 2011-2015. NHATS is a potentially valuable but underused dataset for ophthalmology health services researchers given that participants report on vision and history of cataract surgery and survey data is linked to Medicare claims. We conducted this study to evaluate the rates of cataract surgery in this population and to compare the characteristics of study participants who received cataract surgery to those who did not in order to asses for feasibility of future analyses that could use this data to explore the effects of cataract surgery on mood, quality of life, and functional status in the elderly.
We identified all patients who reported cataract surgery during the NHATS study. All patients who reported cataract surgery prior to the start of the study were excluded. We compared health and demographic characteristics of those who reported having had cataract surgery within the past year to those who never reported having had cataract surgery. Chi-squared tests were used for statistical comparisons.
Of the 8,245 participants included in the initial cohort, 3,273 (39.7%) were excluded for having cataract surgery prior to the start of the study. 667 participants reported having cataract surgery during the course of the study, and the remaining 4,305 did not. Participants who had cataract surgery during the study tended to be older (p<0.001), female sex (60% vs. 51%, p=0.04), and have poorer self-reported health (p=0.04) than those who did not have cataract surgery. We did not find a difference in education level (p=0.27) or depression (p=0.99) between the two groups. (Table 1)
We demonstrate that NHATS may be used to construct a demographic profile of older patients undergoing cataract surgery. Ophthalmology researchers can further use NHATS to explore the impact of cataract surgery and other ophthalmologic procedures in older populations.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
Characteristics of NHATS study participants who had cataract surgery and those who did not.
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