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Yaping Jin, Ge Yang, Yvonne M Buys, Graham Eric Trope; Trends in prevalence of self-reported cataracts in Canada. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5717.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In 2004, all Canadian provincial governments launched a wait time strategy to shorten wait times for cataract surgery. It is unknown if this strategy was associated with reduced number of Canadians with cataracts post-2004. We provided population estimates 5 years after the wait time strategy was introduced and a 9-year trend in self-reported prevalence of cataracts in Canada from 2001 to 2009.
Analyses were based on self-reported data for individuals aged 45+ from 4 nationwide surveys: the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) in 2000/2001 (n=60,569), 2003 (n=68,036), 2005 (n=66,475) and the CCHS Healthy Aging in 2008/2009 (n=30,849). Age- and sex-standardized prevalence was calculated for comparisons.
An estimated 1,341,600 Canadians had cataracts in 2008/2009. This represents an increase of 411,500 (or 44.2%) cataract patients compared to 2000/2001. The age- and sex-standardized prevalence increased from 8.9% in 2000/2001 to 10.2% in 2008/2009 (p<0.05).The increase was greater in individuals without secondary school education (34.7%) than those with secondary school education or higher (19.1%, p<0.05), in non-whites aged 65+ (33.1%) than whites aged 65+ (10.3%, p<0.05).Across provinces, the lowest age-standardized prevalence was seen in Newfoundland and Labrador (5.6%-8.0%), and the highest in Saskatchewan (9.7%-13.4%). Saskatchewan also had the longest median wait times for cataract surgery (118 days in 2008) and the lowest number of ophthalmologists per 100,000 population (1.96 vs. 3.35 national average in 2012). The prevalence in Ontario was most stable, ranging from 9.9% in 2000/2001 to 10.2% in 2008/2009.
Despite efforts to reduce wait times for cataract surgery post 2004, the prevalence of cataracts increased between 2001 and 2009, particularly in individuals with low levels of education and non-white seniors. Estimated 1.3 million Canadians had cataracts in 2008/2009. Studies are needed to understand reasons behind this increase.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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