Purpose: This retrospective cohort study examines the association between cataract surgery and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) during 5-year follow-up using population-based claims data. Methods: We analysed data sourced from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. The study included 3465 patients who had undergone cataract operations and did not have a diagnosis of AMD before or on the surgery date (study group), and 10 395 age- and sex-matched comparison patients selected randomly from the remaining patients without an AMD diagnosis before the index date. We tracked the claims of each patient for a 5-year period to identify patients with a subsequent diagnosis of neovascular AMD. Results: The incidence rate of neovascular AMD was 0.88 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.66-1.14) per 1000 person-years among all sampled patients, 1.60 (95% CI: 1.04-2.36) among the cataract surgery patients and 0.64 (95% CI: 0.43-0.91) among comparison patients (p < 0.001). Stratified Cox proportional analysis showed that relative to the comparison cohort, the adjusted hazard ratio for neovascular AMD during 5-year follow-up was 2.68 (95% CI: 1.55-4.66) for patients who had undergone cataract operation. We censored those who died during follow-up period and adjusted for patients' monthly income, geographical location, urbanization level, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidaemia. Conclusion: This study demonstrated epidemiological evidence of a link between cataract surgery and neovascular AMD during a 5-year follow-up period.
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