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August 1988

Cataract Extraction: Risk Factors in a Health Maintenance Organization Population Under 60 Years of Age

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown (Dr Schwab); the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Northern California Region, Oakland (Dr Friedman, Ms Armstrong, and Mr Carpentieri); the Department of Ophthalmology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Redwood City, Calif (Dr Wong); the World Health Organization Collaborative Center for the Prevention of Blindness and Trachoma, The Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Dawson). Mr Carpentieri is now with Micro/EDP, San Bruno, Calif.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(8):1062-1065. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060140218027

• Risk factors for cataract extraction in a young (<60 years of age) urban health maintenance organization population were evaluated in a case-control study. The subjects (72 case-control pairs) subscribed to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in the San Francisco Bay area and had cataract extraction between 1976 and 1980. All patients had visual acuity of at least 20/40 OU, documented before development of cataracts. Thirtysix (50%) of the 72 cataract extraction patients had at least one known risk factor for cataract formation, including trauma, intraocular inflammation, diabetes mellitus, syphilis, oral or topical steroid use, or previous eye surgery. Male patients were found to be a mean of 4.3 years younger than female patients, and diabetics were found to be a mean of 3.5 years older than nondiabetics. Variables found to be related to cataract extraction in univariate analysis included diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, a family history of cataracts, pulse rate, white blood cell count, and syphilis.

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