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Modeling the Prevalence of Age-Related Cataract: Waterloo Eye Study

Machan, Carolyn M.; Hrynchak, Patricia K.; Irving, Elizabeth L.

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31823ee062
Original Article

Purpose. To report on the prevalence of age-related (AR) cataract in an optometric clinic population including male and female subgroups.

Methods. Retrospective patient file data reviewed for the Waterloo Eye Study database included age, sex, date of lens extraction (LE), and presence of AR cataract [nuclear sclerosis (NS), cortical cataracts (CC), posterior subcapsular (PSC) or associated LE]. Prevalence (%) was calculated for overall AR cataract, NS, CC, PSC, and bilateral LE for all Waterloo Eye Study patients. Logistic regression analysis was used to create age functions for overall AR prevalence and for significant differences in cataract types for males and females. The distribution of homogeneous and mixed cataract and mean age of first LE were determined for males and females.

Results. The prevalence of all AR, NS, CC, PSC, and bilateral LE was 35.3, 28.8, 9.9, 3.6, and 14.0%, respectively. Being female was associated with an increased prevalence of CC (odds ratio = 1.54, 95% confidence interval, 1.27 to 1.88) and bilateral LE (odds ratio = 1.41, 95% confidence interval, 1.09 to 1.84). Females reached 50% prevalence earlier than men for CC (76.7 vs. 82.6 years, p < 0.05) and bilateral LE (84.6 vs. 90.5 years, p < 0.05). Males had an earlier age of first LE than females (70.4 vs. 73.2 years; p < 0.01).

Conclusions. Logistic regression modeling indicates that being female in this optometric clinic population was associated with an increased prevalence of CC, mixed cataract, surgical intervention, and later age of first LE. These data are important for public health planning.




School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Received March 18, 2011; accepted September 12, 2011.

Elizabeth L. Irving; School of Optometry; University of Waterloo; 200 University Avenue West; Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1; Canada; e-mail:

© 2012 American Academy of Optometry