Case study 11: Longevity after cataract surgery

The researchers evaluated which patients over the age of 64 years who had cataract surgery lived longer. Was it patients whose vision was corrected by the surgery or those patients who still lived with visual impairment after the surgery? The study found that patients with moderate-severe visual impairment prior to surgery, and whose vision was corrected by cataract surgery, had a 30% lower risk of death, compared to those patients whose moderate to severe levels of visual impairment continued post-surgery. The study concluded that older patients who had their vision restored after cataract surgery had a better chance of living longer than those patients whose sight remained impaired.

How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare linked the clinical data with the National Death Index for the research team to analyse.

Fong CS, Mitchell P, Rochtchina E, de Loryn T, Tan AG, Wang JJ.

Fong CS, Mitchell P, Rochtchina E, de Loryn T, Tan AG, Wang JJ. Visual impairment corrected via cataract surgery and 5-year survival in a prospective cohort. American journal of ophthalmology. 2014;157(1):163-70 e1. Accessed 12 April 2016 <>