Cataracts Predict Infection and Early Death.....
Dr. Trempe, my mentor at Harvard, showed me that cataracts are actually a sign of a progressive cardiovascular problem, in many people.
The first comprehensive study on the eye cataract / early mortality connection was the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). Since its publication, 15+ studies around the globe have proven the same relationship but no one is doing anything about it - sadly (except us and were are working to educate more people and providers).
Studies showing the connection between cataracts and early death:
This is NOT a trivial risk. Increased mortality for a cataract is similar to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Six year increase in mortality is about 11%. That is, you have a 1 in 10 chance of dying in 6 years from vascular complications if you are diagnosed with a cataract. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1473208/
Here is the chart from the initial study for those of you who like data:
What Causes the Increase in Mortality?
This image tells us quite a bit. She was infected with Ebola and then developed cataracts.
Interpretation: The cataract is part of the immune response against infection.
Older people who develop cataracts most likely have a chronic infection like lyme disease, periodontal disease, or a very common but seldom detected organism called Chlamydia pneumoniae.