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Smoking tied to cataract surgery in general population, but not in diabetic patients

19 Aug 2019

Although smoking is linked to cataract and cataract surgery in the general population, a recent study has shown no association between smoking and cataract surgery in diabetic patients.

A total of 995 participants underwent cataract surgery, with a corresponding incidence of 12.4 cases per 1,000 person-years, during a mean follow-up of 8.4 years. Of these, 10.8 percent were current smokers at baseline, 12.4 percent were former smokers, and 50.5 percent were never smokers.

Never-smokers had a nonsignificantly higher incidence of cataract surgery compared to former or current smokers. In regression analysis, no significant difference was observed in cataract surgical risk among former, current and never smokers.

Moreover, neither age nor time since quitting smoking correlated with the risk of cataract surgery, but a marginally significant trend in a reduced risk of cataract surgery was found with longer smoking cessation time for participants with normal weight (p-trend=0.05).

The authors enrolled 9,578 diabetic individuals aged 45–65 years from the 45 and Up Study, the largest population-based cohort study in Australia, to determine whether smoking was associated with the risk of cataract surgery in this population.

They also linked the baseline questionnaire data to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme database, which were both available from 2004 to 2016. Cataract surgery was determined according to the MBS.

A questionnaire was used to assess smoking status. The association between smoking and incidence of cataract surgery during the follow-up was examined using Cox regression.

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