Vision loss adversely affects daily function which can increase risk for death

August 21, 2014

Vision loss can adversely affect the ability of older adults to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as using the telephone, shopping and doing housework, which are all measures of an individual's ability to live independently, and that subsequently increases the risk for death.

Visual impairment (VI) can have negative effects on a person's physical and psychosocial health. VI is associated with a variety of functional and health outcomes.

The authors used data from the Salisbury Eye Evaluation study to examine the extent to which (VA) loss increased the risk for death because of its effect on functional status over time. The study included 2,520 (65 to 84 years) from September 1993 through July 2003 from the greater Salisbury, Md., area. Study participants were reassessed at 2, 6 and 8 years after baseline.

Declines in VA acuity over time were associated with increased in part because of decreasing levels of IADL over time. Individuals who experienced increasing difficulty with IADL had an increase in mortality risk that was 3 percent greater annually and 31 percent greater during the 8-year study period than individuals with a stable IADL difficulty level. Participants who experienced the decline in VA of one letter on an acuity chart were expected to have a 16 percent increase in mortality risk during the 8-year study because of associated declines in IADL levels.

"Our findings have multiple implications. First, these findings reinforce the need for the primary prevention of VI. …Moreover, the early detection of disabling eye diseases is suboptimal in the U.S. health care system, leading to otherwise preventable VI. Finally, many Americans live with VI that is correctable through the proper fitting of glasses or contact lenses. A second implication of our findings suggests that when uncorrectable VI is present, helping affected individuals maintain robust IADL is important." Sharon L. Christ, Ph.D., of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and colleagues wrote in their JAMA Ophthalmology paper.

Explore further: Improved vision from cataract surgery appears to aid survival

More information: JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online August 21, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/.jamaopthalmol.2014.2847

Related Stories

Improved vision from cataract surgery appears to aid survival

September 26, 2013
(HealthDay)—Surgical correction of visual impairment (VI) due to cataract is associated with significantly better long-term survival in older persons after adjusting for known cataract and mortality risk factors and indicators ...

Mexican-Americans suffer worse outcomes after stroke

March 13, 2014
Mexican-Americans had worse neurologic, functional and cognitive outcomes 90 days after stroke compared to non-Hispanic whites, in a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

New optical metrics can identify patients on 'fast track' to decreased vision

June 24, 2013
Sophisticated new optical quality metrics can identify older adults likely to have more rapid age-related declines in vision, suggests a study, "Factors Accounting for the 4-Year Change in Acuity in Patients Between 50 and ...

Death of a parent during childhood is associated with greater mortality in early adulthood

July 22, 2014
Experiencing the loss of a parent during childhood or adolescence is associated with a greater risk of mortality, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine. The study, conducted by Jiong Li and colleagues ...

Amblyopia Tx at young age results in good vision later

July 16, 2014
(HealthDay)—Most children treated for moderate amblyopia when younger than 7 years have good visual acuity at 15 years of age, according to a study published in the July issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

Recommended for you

Combination of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea indicates eyesight loss within four years

July 4, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average ...

Nearly 60% of pinkeye patients receive antibiotic eye drops, but they're seldom necessary

June 28, 2017
A new study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, are getting the wrong treatment.

Magnetic implants used to treat 'dancing eyes'

June 26, 2017
A research team has successfully used magnets implanted behind a person's eyes to treat nystagmus, a condition characterised by involuntary eye movements.

Drug shows promise against vision-robbing disease in seniors

June 21, 2017
An experimental drug is showing promise against an untreatable eye disease that blinds older adults—and intriguingly, it seems to work in patients who carry a particular gene flaw that fuels the damage to their vision.

Reproducing a retinal disease on a chip

June 15, 2017
Approximately 80% of all sensory input is received via the eyes, so suffering from chronic retinal diseases that lead to blindness causes a significant decrease in the quality of life (QOL). And because retinal diseases are ...

New gene therapy for vision loss proven safe in humans

May 16, 2017
In a small and preliminary clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators have shown that an experimental gene therapy that uses viruses to introduce a therapeutic gene into the eye is safe and that it ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.