Prevalence and risk factors for age-related cataract in Sweden

  • Magnus Hugosson Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Curt Ekström Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Keywords: Cataract, epidemiology, population survey, prevalence, risk factor


Background: Cataract is a major cause of visual impairment worldwide. There is a paucity of prevalence studies from Sweden. Therefore, we report the prevalence of cataract and its risk factors in a population-based study of older adults in Sweden.

Methods: The Tierp Glaucoma Survey was conducted in the municipality of Tierp, Sweden, including 760 subjects aged 65–74 years. The presence of cataract was determined based on retroillumination, with lens opacities evident on slit-lamp examination. To assess risk factors for cataract, odds ratios (ORs) were calculated, adjusted for age and gender.

Results: A total of 234 individuals were found to have cataract, 12 of whom had undergone cataract surgery. The prevalence adjusted for nonparticipation was 31.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 29.4–33.6), 35.2% (95% CI 28.7–41.8) in females and 26.2% (95% CI 19.8–32.6) in males. Cataract was associated with age ≥70 years (OR 1.93; 95% CI 1.41–2.64), female gender (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.12–2.11), and myopia (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.16–3.56), while pseudoexfoliation, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and ischaemic heart disease were not.

Conclusions: Nearly one-third of the sample were estimated to have lens opacities, or had undergone cataract surgery, making cataract a frequent disorder of older age. The study provided further evidence that increasing age, female gender, and myopia are associated with cataract.


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How to Cite
Hugosson, M., & Ekström, C. (2020). Prevalence and risk factors for age-related cataract in Sweden. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 125(4), 311–315.
Original Articles