European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 405–409 | Cite as

Cataract may be a non-memory feature of Alzheimer’s disease in older people

  • Shih-Wei Lai
  • Cheng-Li Lin
  • Kuan-Fu LiaoEmail author


The aim of this study was to explore whether there is a relationship between cataract and Alzheimer’s disease in older people in Taiwan. We conducted a retrospective cohort study by using the database of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program from 1999 to 2004. There were 19,954 subjects aged 65–84 with newly diagnosed cataract as the cataract group and 19,954 randomly selected subjects without cataract as the non-cataract group. Both groups were matched with sex, age and index year of diagnosing cataract. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease associated with cataract was assessed. The overall incidence of Alzheimer’s disease was 1.21 per 1,000 person-years in the cataract group and 0.73 per 1,000 person-years in the non-cataract group (crude hazard ratio 1.62, 95 % CI 1.28, 2.04). After adjustment for potential confounders, the adjusted HR of Alzheimer’s disease was 1.43 (95 % CI 1.13, 1.82) for the cataract group, compared to the non-cataract group. Male (HR 1.36, 95 % CI 1.09, 1.70), age (every 1 year, HR 1.08, 95 % CI 1.06, 1.10) and head injury (HR 1.79, 95 % CI 1.08, 2.96) were other factors significantly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Older people with cataract are at 1.43-fold increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. More research is necessary to determine whether cataract is one of non-memory features of Alzheimer’s disease.


Alzheimer’s disease Cataract Older people 



This study was supported in part by Taiwan Department of Health Clinical Trial and Research Center of Excellence (Grant Number DOH102-TD-B-111-004) and China Medical University Hospital (Grant Number 1MS1). The funding agency did not influence the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Management Office for Health DataChina Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Graduate Institute of Integrated MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Internal MedicineTaichung Tzu Chi General HospitalTaichungTaiwan

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