April 2009
Volume 50, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2009
Cataract Prevalence in an Optometric Clinic Population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. M. Machan
    School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • P. K. Hrynchak
    School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • E. L. Irving
    School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  C.M. Machan, None; P.K. Hrynchak, None; E.L. Irving, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Canadian Research Chair NSERC
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2009, Vol.50, 507. doi:
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      C. M. Machan, P. K. Hrynchak, E. L. Irving; Cataract Prevalence in an Optometric Clinic Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):507.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To report on the prevalence of cataract in a clinic population and in a diabetic subgroup. The average age of surgical intervention for cataract in diabetic and non-diabetic patients is also reported.

Methods: : 6397 clinic files from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry were reviewed to create the Vision Data 2007 database. Data was collected for primary care patients of all ages (0 to 93 years) seen over a one year period (Jan. 07- 08). The data included the presence of traumatic, congenital and age-related cataract (grade 1 or greater), a history of aphakia or pseudophakia and the date(s) of lens extraction(s). The prevalence of cataract (all types) was then analyzed as a function of age for all patients and for the subgroup of diabetic (type 1 and II) patients. The distribution of each type of age-related cataract in the entire population (nuclear sclerosis, cortical, posterior subcapsular or bilateral lens extraction) was determined for patients over 39 years. The mean age of first cataract extraction was calculated for diabetic and non-diabetic patients.

Results: : Less than 1% of all cataracts were unrelated to age. The prevalence of age-related cataract progressed at a steady rate after age forty with close to one hundred percent cataract detection after seventy-three years of age. The distribution of age-related cataract was 49.5% nuclear sclerosis, 33.2% mixed, 14.1% bilateral extraction, 2.4% cortical and 0.8% posterior subcapsular. The prevalence of cataract in diabetics (n=508) started to rise at approximately the same age as non-diabetics (40 years) but rises at a much steeper rate, approaching 100% prevalence 5 years earlier. The mean age at first cataract extraction in patients over 39 was 68 +/-13 years in diabetic patients versus 73 +/- 9 years in non-diabetics. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.01).

Conclusions: : The study confirms the well known risk of age for cataract development. Within this clinical population, age-related cataract is a common finding in patients over thirty-nine years of age. Having a diagnosis of diabetes is associated with increased cataract progression resulting in an earlier age of surgical intervention.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • cataract • diabetes 

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