Association of Age-Related Cataract With Skin Cancer in an Australian Population

Shiwani Sharma, Catherine Lang, Jyoti Khadka, Maria C. Inacio

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Purpose: Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight contributes to age-related cataract and skin cancer. The EPHA2 gene is implicated in both these diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine whether age-related cataract and skin cancer are associated in a cohort of older Australians. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using the Historical Cohort of the Registry of Senior Australians. Individuals aged ≥65 years or aged ≥50 years and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who had an aged care eligibility assessment between July 2005 and June 2015, and had a history of cataract surgery and/or skin cancer according to the Australian Government Medicare Benefits Schedule dataset, during the 3-year period prior, were evaluated (N = 599,316). A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine association and multiple hypothesis correction was employed. Results: Of the evaluated individuals, 87,097 (14.5%) had a history of cataract and 170,251 (28.4%) a history of skin cancer. Among those with a history of cataract, 20,497 (23.5%), 1127 (1.3%), and 14,730 (16.9%) individuals had a concurrent history of keratinocyte, melanoma, and premalignant/solar keratosis, respectively. Those with a history of cataract were 19% more likely to have a history of skin cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], (1.17-1.21). Co-occurrence of keratinocyte skin cancer was 16% (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.14-1.18), melanoma 21% (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.13-1.29), and premalignant/solar keratosis 19% (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.17-1.22) more in the presence than absence of history of cataract. Conclusions: Age-related cataract is positively associated with skin cancer and its subtypes, including premalignant lesions in an older Australian population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • cataract,
  • skin cancer
  • coexistence
  • population-based study
  • database analysis
  • Cataract
  • Database analysis
  • Population-based study
  • Coexistence
  • Skin cancer


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