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Research Letter
January 2019

Association of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia With Receipt of Cataract Surgery Among Community-Dwelling Medicare Beneficiaries

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Clinician Scholars Program, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Ann Arbor
  • 2Center for Eye Policy and Innovation, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(1):114-117. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.5138

Correcting visual impairment may optimize functioning and reduce the risk of further cognitive decline for people with cognitive impairment and dementia (CID).1,2 Cataracts cause visual impairment in more than 20% of older adults and are effectively treated with low-risk surgery.3 Clinical guidelines state that older adults with CID, except those with limited life expectancy or advanced dementia, should be offered effective treatments, including cataract surgery.4 It is not known whether older adults with CID in the United States receive cataract surgery at the same rate as those with normal cognition. We tested the hypothesis that community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries with CID are less likely to receive cataract surgery than those with normal cognition.