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Cataract extraction refers to surgery that involves the removal of a cloudy lens from the eye. In most cases, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens, restoring vision.

In 2013–14, there were 229,693 hospitalisations for Cataract extraction, making this a very common procedure (8.9 per 1,000 population). Cataract extractions were most common among those aged 60 to 74 (Figure 1).

 Of all Cataract extraction separations in 2013–14:

  • 96.6% were performed on a same-day basis (above the OECD average of 85.6%)
  • 56% were for women
  • 90% were for people aged 60 and over
  • <1% were for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. (AIHW 2015)

Nationally, the rates for Cataract extraction varied between public and private sectors (2.7 and 6.2 per 1,000 population, respectively). There was some variation in the rate of Cataract extraction among states and territories, ranging from 8.3 per 1,000 population in New South Wales to 10.6 per 1,000 in Western Australia. For more information see Admitted patient care 2013–14: Australian hospital statistics.

Figure 1: Cataract extraction by sex and age group, 2013–14

Vertical bar chart showing for (male, female); age group (0-14 to 85plus) on the x axis; per cent (0 to 50) on the y axis.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (see source Table 1). 

Trends

From 2009–10 to 2013–14:

  • the number of hospital separations for Cataract extraction increased from 205,624 to 229,693
  • the age-standardised rate of Cataract extraction remained stable at between 8.6–8.9 per 1,000 population per year (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Cataract extraction by sex, 2009–10 to 2013–14

Stacked line chart showing for (male, female, total); Year (2009-10 to 2013-14) on the x axis; rate (number per 1,000) (0 to 12) on the y axis.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (see source Table 2). 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2013–14, the hospitalisations rate for Cataract extraction was lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared with other Australians (7.3 compared with 8.9 per 1,000 population). Over time, the difference in hospitalisation rates has decreased: between 2010–11 and 2013–14, the age-standardised rate of Cataract extraction among Indigenous Australians increased from 5.6 to 7.3 per 1,000 population while the rate for other Australians was relatively steady at 8.6 to 8.9 per 1,000 population (Figure 3). This means that the rate-ratio for Cataract extraction beween Indigenous and Other Australians has increased, from 0.7 in 2010–11 to 0.8 in 2013–14.

This change represents an improvement in the rate of Cataract extraction for Indigenous Australians.

Figure 3: Cataract extraction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, 2010–11 to 2013–14

Stacked line chart showing for Indigenous Australians and Other Australians; Year (2010-11 to 2013-14) on the x axis; rate (number per 1,000) (0 to 12) on the y axis.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (see source Table 3). 


Source tables

Table 1: Number of hospitalisations for cataract extraction, by age group and sex, 2013–14
Age group Males Females Persons
0–14 166 135 301
15–29 219 150 369
30–44 886 864 1,750
45–59 9,357 10,687 20,044
60–74 45,015 58,868 103,883
75–84 36,640 46,694 83,335
85+ 8,652 11,358 20,010
Total 100,935 128,756 229,693

Notes

  1. Cataract extraction is classified according to Australian Classification of Health Interventions (8th edition) codes, 42698–00 to 42698–05, 42702–00 to 42702–11, 42716–00, 42719–00, 42719–02, 42722–00, 42731–00, 42731–01, 42734–00, 42788–00.
  2. Hospitalisations for which the care type was reported as Newborn with no qualified days, and records for Hospital boarders and Posthumous organ procurement have been excluded.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Table 2: Rate of hospitalisations for cataract extraction, by sex, 2009–10 to 2013–14
Year Males Females Persons
2009–10 8.4 9.5 8.9
2010–11 8.2 9.1 8.6
2011–12 8.3 9.3 8.8
2012–13 8.3 9.3 8.8
2013–14 8.4 9.5 8.9

Notes

  1. Cataract extraction is classified according to Australian Classification of Health Interventions (8th edition) codes, 42698–00 to 42698–05, 42702v00 to 42702–11, 42716–00, 42719–00, 42719–02, 42722–00, 42731–00, 42731–01, 42734–00, 42788–00.
  2. Rates are age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.
  3. Hospitalisations for which the care type was reported as Newborn with no qualified days, and records for Hospital boarders and Posthumous organ procurement have been excluded.
  4. Trend data should be interpreted with caution; see the NHMD data quality statement for more information.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Table 3: Rate of hospitalisations for cataract extraction, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, 2010–11 to 2013–14
Year Indigenous Other All persons
2010–11 5.6 8.6 8.6
2011–12 6.5 8.8 8.8
2012–13 7.5 8.8 8.8
2013–14 7.3 8.9 8.9

Notes

  1. Cataract extraction is classified according to the Australian Classification of Health Interventions (8th edition) codes, 42698–00 to 42698–05, 42702v00 to 42702–11, 42716–00, 42719–00, 42719–02, 42722–00, 42731–00, 42731–01, 42734–00, 42788–00.
  2. Rates are age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.
  3. Hospitalisations for which the care type was reported as Newborn with no qualified days, and records for Hospital boarders and Posthumous organ procurement have been excluded.
  4. Indigenous status data in the NHMD for all states and territories are considered of sufficient quality for statistical reporting for 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13 and 2013–14, however, it should be noted that the overall quality of the data provided for Indigenous status is considered to be in need of some improvement and varied between states and territories.
  5. Trend data should be interpreted with caution; see the NHMD data quality statement for more information.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.


References