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Reduced mortality compared with national averages following phacoemulsification cataract surgery: a retrospective observational study
  1. M S J Blundell1,2,
  2. L P Hunt3,
  3. E J Mayer1,2,
  4. A D Dick1,2,
  5. J M Sparrow2,4
  1. 1
    Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2
    Bristol Eye Hospital, University Hospitals of Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Clinical Sciences South Bristol, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  4. 4
    International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Mr M S J Blundell, c/o Clinical Research Unit, Bristol Eye Hospital, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol BS1 2LX, UK; msjb1{at}


Background: Higher or equal rates of mortality are associated with cataract surgery compared with the general population. Cataract surgery has advanced, and the clinical characteristics of the patient undergoing cataract surgery have changed.

Aims: To reinvestigate survival following cataract surgery.

Method: Survival data were gathered up to the end of 2006 on 933 consecutive patients who underwent cataract surgery between December 2000 and February 2001. These data were compared with national and regional mortality figures, and standardised mortality ratios (SMR) were calculated.

Results: After adjusting for age and sex, there was a statistically significant reduced mortality compared with national (SMR = 0.88 (95% CI 0.79 to 0.99)) and regional figures (SMR = 0.87 (95% CI 0.78 to 0.98)).

Conclusion: All previous studies found decreased survival among cataract surgery cohorts. These data differ from data at earlier times, as cataract surgery seems to be associated with increased survival. This illustrates the need for continual re-evaluation of accepted medical knowledge in the light of changes in practice and population demographics.

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  • Funding: MB is funded as a Clinical Research Fellow by Bausch and Lomb. EM is funded by a National Career Scientist Award from the Department of Health and NHS Research and Development.

  • Competing interests: None.

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