DOI: 10.1002/alz.077567 ISSN: 1552-5260

Cataract, cataract surgery, and risk of incident dementia: a prospective cohort study of 300,823 participants

Lingzhi Ma
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Considering the increasing rate of cataract surgery and postoperative efficacy, the cataract may be one of the most modifiable risk factors for dementia if surgery reverses the increased risk of dementia caused by cataract.


We used multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations, with healthy controls as a reference. The same method was used to explore the effects of surgery on the dementia outcomes of cataract patients.


Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models showed that the non‐surgical cataract group had a 21.4% increased risk of ACD (HR: 1.214, 95% CI = 1.012‐1.456, P = 0.037) and a 47.9% increased risk of AD (HR: 1.479, 95% CI = 1.105‐1.981, P = 0.009) in the fully adjusted model. However, there was no difference in dementia risk between the cataract surgery group and the healthy control. Cataract surgery was associated with decreased risk of ACD (HR: 0.632, 95% CI = 0.421‐0.947, P = 0.026) and AD (HR: 0.399, 95% CI = 0.196‐0.812, P = 0.011) compared with non‐surgical group.


Our study supports the hypothesis that cataract surgery reverses the risk of dementia, providing new insights into the prevention and treatment of dementia. Cataract should be considered a significant modifiable risk factor for dementia in dementia prevention strategies.

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