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Cataract Surgery Reduces Auto Accidents

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 2002;288:841-849) demonstrates that cataract surgery reduces the rate of motor vehicle crashes by 50% in older patients. This study recruited cataract patients between the ages of 55 and 84 years from 12 Alabama eye clinics and included 174 patients who had cataract surgery and 103 who did not. The results revealed that the crash rate for those undergoing cataract surgery increased only 27% in the follow-up period of four to six years, compared to 75% for those who did not have cataract surgery. The authors conclude that cataract surgery has the benefit of preventing the increased crash rate that would have been anticipated without cataract removal.