New research from the Journal of Glaucoma reports an increase in cataract surgery procedures may significantly decrease the prevalence of primary angle-closure cases, especially in older populations.

A research team from China and Australia enrolled participants aged 50 and older from the Liwan Eye Study, which included right eye data of 1,280 participants. The investigators evaluated occludable angle as a surrogate of primary angle-closure glaucoma using static gonioscopy. In addition, they used ultrasound to measure anterior chamber depth before dilation. The study conducted random sampling to generate 50 cohorts with a sample size of 200 for each predefined cataract surgical rate of 2,000, 4,000, 6,000, 8,000, 10,000 and 12,000.

The prevalence of cataract surgery and occludable angle was 2.27% and 11.3%, respectively. When the data was grouped based on cataract surgery rates, the prevalence of occludable angle dropped:

  • 2,000: 11.4%
  • 4,000: 11.2%
  • 6,000: 10.9%
  • 8,000: 11.4%
  • 10,000: 10.8%
  • 12,000: 10.1%

For patients aged 70 and older, the occludable angle rates decreased remarkably as cataract surgery rates increased, the researchers noted.

“It is advisable to perform cataract surgery at an appropriate time for patients in their late sixties to seventies with significant cataracts,” they researchers concluded in their paper.

Jim G, Wang L, Scheetz J, et al. How does cataract surgery rate affect angle closure prevalence. J Glaucoma. October 7, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].