Vision impairment linked to several psychosocial outcomes in seniors

Key Takeaways

  • Vision impairment is linked with depression, anxiety, and social isolation in older adults.
  • Research aimed at enhancing the health and inclusion of people with vision impairment should be prioritized.

In adults 65 years and older, vision impairment is associated with psychosocial outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social isolation, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Ophthalmology. Louay Almidani, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Aging Trends Study rounds 9 (2019) and 11 (2021) to update national estimates on the associations of vision impairment with depressive and anxiety symptoms and social isolation in U.S. adults aged 65 years and older. Data were included from 2,822 community-dwelling adults sampled from a population of 26,182,090.

The researchers found that 32.3% of the participants had objectively measured vision impairment and 6.4% had self-reported vision impairment. All outcomes were significantly associated with objectively measured vision impairment in adjusted models, including depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and severe social isolation. In addition, significant associations were seen for depressive symptoms and anxiety symptoms, but not severe social isolation symptoms, with self-reported vision impairment.

“While maintaining eye health will always be important, these findings provide evidence to support prioritizing research aimed at enhancing the health and inclusion of people with vision impairment,” the authors write.

Source: Elana Gotkine, Medical Xpress, February 26, 2024; see source article