Results: In subjects 50 years of age or older, after adjustment for age and sex distribution, the rate of having had cataract surgery in one or both eyes was 14.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.4% to 17.8%). Of 131 eyes (91 subjects) that had undergone cataract surgery, 28 (21.4%; 95% CI, 14.4% to 28.4%) had very poor outcome and another 40 (30.5%; 95% CI, 22.6% to 38.4%) had poor outcome. The very poor outcome in 20 (71.4%) of 28 eyes and poor outcome in 23 (57.5%) of 40 eyes could be attributed to surgery-related causes or inadequate refractive correction. With multivariate analysis, very poor outcome as a result of surgery-related causes or inadequate refractive correction was more likely to be associated with intracapsular cataract extraction than with extracapsular cataract extraction (odds ratio, 9.34; 95% CI, 2.49 to 35.06) in subjects belonging to the lowest socioeconomic status (odds ratio, 4.92; 95% CI, 1.16 to 20.93) and with date of surgery 3 or fewer years before the survey than with more than 3 years (odds ratio, 4.52; 95% CI, 1.33 to 15.39). Also, very poor or poor outcome as a result of surgery-related causes or inadequate refractive correction was associated with women (odds ratio, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.06 to 6.16).
Conclusions: The very high rate of very poor and poor visual outcome, predominantly as a result of surgery-related causes and inadequate refractive correction, in this urban population of India suggests that more attention is needed to improve the visual outcome of cataract surgery. In order to deal with cataract-related visual impairment in India, as much emphasis on surgical quality, refractive correction, and follow-up care is necessary as on the number of surgeries.