Aim: To identify whether the risk of an intraoperative complication of phakoemulsification cataract surgery increases with age.
Methods: 1441 consecutive patients undergoing phakoemulsification cataract surgery were assessed preoperatively, and data on the occurrence of intraoperative complications were collected prospectively. Data were entered into a computerised database, and logistic regression was used to examine evidence of an association between age and the risk of an intraoperative complication. In addition, the rates of intraoperative complications were compared between patients ⩾88 years and those <88 years, and between patients ⩾96 years and those <96 years.
Results: No significant association was found between age and the risk of an intraoperative complication. The authors found little evidence that patients ⩾88 years were at a greater risk of an intraoperative complication than those <88 years, or that those ⩾96 years are at increased risk; however, numbers were small.
Conclusions: These results suggest that age alone is not a major risk factor for any intraoperative complications occurring during phakoemulsification cataract surgery. This has implications not just for tailoring the risk of complications occurring to individual patients but also for meaningful comparisons between national complication rates and those of individual surgeons, and better selection of cases suitable for instruction.
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Published Online First 9 August 2006
Competing interests: None declared.