Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Prevalence of cataract surgery and post-surgical visual outcomes in an urban Asian population: the Singapore Malay Eye Study
  1. R Lavanya1,2,
  2. T Y Wong1,2,3,4,5,
  3. T Aung1,2,3,
  4. D T H Tan1,2,3,
  5. S-M Saw2,3,4,
  6. W T Tay2,
  7. J Jin Wang5,6,
  8. for the SiMES team
  1. 1
    Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore
  2. 2
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
  3. 3
    Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  4. 4
    Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  5. 5
    Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  6. 6
    Centre for Vision Research, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Dr J J Wang, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne, VIC 3002 Australia, jiejw{at}; jiejin_wang{at}


Aim: The aim of the study was to describe the prevalence and visual outcomes of cataract surgery in an urban Asian population.

Methods: This was a population-based study of 3280 Singapore Malays aged 40–80 years (response rate 78.7%). Participants had a standardised interview and comprehensive ocular examination. Poor post-operative visual outcome was defined as visual acuity ⩽20/60 in operated eyes of unilateral cataract extractions or in the better-seeing eye of bilateral cataract extractions. Factors associated with poor visual outcome were assessed.

Results: Of 3280 participants, 284 (men 52.3%) had unilateral cataract extractions (age-standardised prevalence 4.7%, 95% CI 4.2% to 5.4%) and 154 persons (54%) had bilateral extractions. Older age, male sex and the presence of diabetes were significant factors associated with having had cataract surgery. Poor visual outcomes were present in 10.8% of the operated eyes using best-corrected visual acuity. Diabetic retinopathy (25.5%), glaucoma (17%), age-related macular degeneration (14.9%) and posterior capsular opacification (14.9%) were the main causes of poor visual outcome after surgery. Under-corrected refractive error accounted for 60% of patients with post-operative presenting visual acuity of ⩽20/60.

Conclusions: Five per cent of the sample of the Malay population aged 40–80 years in Singapore had cataract surgery. One in ten had post-operative best-corrected visual acuity of 20/60 or worse, largely related to concomitant retinal diseases.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding: This study was supported by the National Medical Research Council Grants No 0796/2003, 0863/2004 and CSI/0002/2005, and Biomedical Research Council Grant No 501/1/25-5, with additional support from the Singapore Tissue Network and the Ministry of Health, Singapore.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the Singapore Eye Research Institute Institutional Review Board.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

Linked Articles

  • At a glance
    Harminder S Dua Arun D Singh