To evaluate the trends and changes in the number and rates of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and prevalence of cataract in China between 1990 and 2019, and to predict the trends of cataract burden from 2020 to 2030. The Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) database was employed to collect the data on DALYs and the prevalence of cataract in China, which was distinguished by age and sex during the past three decades from 1990 to 2019, and then changes in the number and rates of cataract from 2020 to 2030 were predicted. All data were analyzed by the R program (version 4.2.2) and GraphPad Prism 9.0 statistics software. The number of DALYs of cataract increased from 449 322.84 in 1990 to 1 087 987.61 in 2019, number of cataract cases increased from 5 607 600.94 in 1990 to 18 142 568.96 in 2019. The age-standardized DALY rates (ASDR) generally increased slightly [estimated annual percentage change (EAPC=0.1; 95%CI: -0.24 to 0.45), age-standardized prevalence rates (ASPR) also increased (EAPC=0.88; 95%CI: 0.6 to 1.15). Cataract burden increased with age and female gender. Among the causes of cataract, air pollution was the most important, followed by smoking, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body mass index (BMI). The burden of cataract is predicted to grow persistently from 2020 to 2030, the number of DALYs and prevalence for cataract will rise to 2 336 431 and 43 698 620 respectively by 2030, the ASDR is predicted to be 85/100 000 and ASPR will be 1586/100 000 in 2030, females will still be at greater risk of suffering from cataract than males. The burden of cataract in China kept rising from 1990 to 2019. Increasing age and female gender are risk factors for cataract. Air pollution, smoking, high fasting plasma glucose, and high BMI are associated with cataract. The burden of cataract in China will gradually increase from 2020 to 2030, the elderly women in particular need attention. Our results may be of help for providing reference strategies to reduce cataract burden in the near future.

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