HealthDay News — The rate of cataract surgeries is substantially lower among older adults newly diagnosed with Alzheimer disease (AD) compared with their peers without AD, according to a study published online May 14 in Acta Ophthalmologica.

Kaisa Hokkinen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues compared the incidence of cataract surgeries (2005 to 2011) among 70,718 community-dwelling Finnish persons with clinically verified AD diagnoses and a matched comparison cohort of 70,718 individuals without AD.

The researchers found that 25,763 cataract procedures were performed on persons with AD and 26,254 were performed on persons without AD during the study period. Before the index date of AD diagnosis, both groups had a similar increase in the incidence of surgery, with rates of 3.5 and 3.3 per 100 person-years among those with and without AD, respectively. In the one year following the index AD diagnosis date, the incidence diminished steeply in the AD group, while a slow increase continued in the non-AD group, yielding rates of 3.7 and 4.7 per 100 person-years in people with and without AD after the index date of AD diagnosis.

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“The stigma of AD diagnosis may lead to fewer referrals to surgery, although these patients are expected to benefit from surgery,” write the authors.

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