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To assess the impact of impaired cognition on visual outcomes 1 year following cataract surgery in a cohort of older people.Participants aged 75 years or more with bilateral cataract and scheduled for cataract surgery were recruited consecutively. Cognition was assessed using the revised Addenbrooke's cognitive examination (ACE-R). Participants were divided into two groups: normal (ACE-R ≥88) and impaired cognition (ACE-R <88). Visual quality of life (VQOL) and logarithm of minimum angle of resolution visual acuity (VA) were assessed at baseline and 1 year following cataract surgery.Of 112 participants, 48 (43%) had normal cognition and 64 (57%) had impaired cognition. One year following cataract surgery participants in both groups had significant improvements in VQOL and VA. Visual outcomes at 1 year were significantly better in participants with normal cognition than in those with impaired cognition (95% CIs for difference 0.4–7.0 and 0.02–0.1, for VQOL and VA, respectively). Regression analyses correcting for potential confounders showed a relationship between baseline cognition and VA at 1 year (R2=0.30, p=0.001) and a possible relationship between baseline cognition and VQOL at 1 year (R2=0.41, p=0.01, this became insignificant after removal of outliers).Patients with impaired cognition benefit from cataract surgery, but not to the same extent as patients with normal cognition.