Associations between cataract and multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study of 23,089 adults from Spain

Louis Jacob, Guillermo F. López-Sánchez, Lin Yang, Josep Maria Haro, Jae Il Shin, Nicola Veronese, Pinar Soysal, Trish Gorely, Ai Koyanagi, Lee Smith

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the association between cataract and multimorbidity. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between cataract and chronic conditions and multimorbidity in a large representative sample of Spanish adults. Methods: This study used data from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017, a cross-sectional sample of 23,089 adults aged ≥15 years from Spain [54.1% female; mean (standard deviation) age 53.4 (18.9) years]. Cataract and 30 other physical and mental chronic conditions were self-reported. Multimorbidity was defined as the presence of at least two physical and/or mental chronic conditions (excluding cataract). Control variables included sex, age, marital status, education, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Multivariable logistic and negative binomial regression analyzes were conducted to assess associations. Results: The prevalence of cataract and multimorbidity was 12.5% and 56.5%, respectively. All chronic conditions were significantly more frequent in individuals with than in those without cataract. Overall, there was a positive relationship between cataract and multimorbidity [odds ratio (OR) = 2.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.39–3.21]. In addition, cataract was significantly associated with the number of chronic conditions in the whole population [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.34; 95% CI: 1.29–1.38]. Conclusions: Cataract is positively associated with chronic conditions and multimorbidity in adults. Interventions specifically designed for those with cataract to reduce or manage co-occurring chronic conditions and multimorbidity are urgently required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-798
Number of pages8
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding GFL-S is funded by the Seneca Foundation—Agency for Science and Technology of the Region of Murcia, Spain (20390/PD/17). AK’s work is supported by the PI15/00862 project, integrated into the National R + D + I and funded by the ISCIII—General Branch Evaluation and Promotion of Health Research—and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF-FEDER). These funders had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; writing of the report; and the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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