What Are the Risks of Uncorrectable Poor Vision to Older Adults?

October 16, 2009

Older adults with poor vision that is uncorrectable are at higher risk for death, researchers report in a study in the October Archives of Ophthalmology. Adults between 49 and 74 were 35% more likely to die than people with unimpaired vision. This may be related to difficulties with walking.

The Blue Mountains Eye Study evaluated 3654 people who were 49 years and older during 1992-1994 and after 5 and 10 years. The researchers found that higher mortality was associated with uncorrectable visual impairment (hazard ratio [HR], 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.75). This association was stronger for people younger than 75 years.

Of mortality risk markers examined, only disability in walking demonstrated a significant indirect pathway for the link between visual impairment and mortality. This could be related to several factors – these people may be less likely to exercise, less likely to see a physician and also be at a higher risk of falls or fractures.

Read the abstract or article here (log-in required).

 

 



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