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Sabyasachi Sengupta, Suzanne van Landingham, Robert Massof, Emilie Chan, David Friedman, Pradeep Ramulu; Fear of falling in age-related macular degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5332.
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To determine if age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and AMD-related vision loss are associated with fear of falling.
Sixty-five AMD subjects and 60 controls completed a validated fear of falling questionnaire. Responses were Rasch analyzed. Scores were expressed in logit units, with lower scores demonstrating lesser ability, and greater fear of falling.
In multivariable models controlling for gender, body habitus, strength, and comorbid illness, AMD subjects reported greater fear of falling as compared to controls (β=-0.77 logits, 95% CI=-1.5 to -0.002, p=0.045). Greater fear of falling was observed in subjects with worse visual acuity (VA) (β=-0.15 logits/1 line decrement, 95% CI=-0.28 to -0.03, p=0.02) and contrast sensitivity (CS) (β=-0.20 logits/0.1 log unit decrement, 95% CI=-0.31 to -0.09, p=0.001). Greater fear of falling was also associated with higher BMI, weaker grip, and more comorbid illnesses (p<0.05 for all.)
AMD and AMD-related vision loss are associated with greater fear of falling in the elderly. Development, validation, and implementation of methods to address falls and fear of falling for individuals with vision loss from AMD is an important goal for future work.
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