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Preventing Hip Fractures
Story Updated: Aug 2, 2012
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are admitted to the hospital each year for hip fractures and more than 90% of them are caused by falling.
Poor eyesight affects balance and stability, so researchers wanted to find out whether improving vision through cataract surgery would lower the odds of injury.
They included more than 1 million men and women 65 years and older who were diagnosed with cataracts between 2002 and 2009.
Nearly 411 thousand had cataract surgery during the study. They were followed for one year after the procedure.
The results: patients who underwent cataract surgery had lower odds of hip fracture than patients who did not. Overall, the data showed a 16% decreased risk after surgery.
The benefit was even stronger in those who had severe cataracts -- a 23 percent decreased risk.
While osteoporosis remains the most common cause of fracture in older patients, the researchers conclude that cataract surgery is a cost-effective prevention tool in those with impaired vision. I'm doctor Cindy Haines from HealthDay TV with the news that doctors are reading, health news that matters to you.