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Mihaela L. Popescu, Hélène Boisjoly, Heidi Schmaltz, Marie-Jeanne Kergoat, Jacqueline Rousseau, Solmaz Moghadaszadeh, Fawzia Djafari, Ellen E. Freeman; Age-Related Eye Disease and Mobility Limitations in Older Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(10):7168-7174. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-7564.
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To examine the extent of mobility limitations in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, or Fuchs' corneal dystrophy compared with that in a control group of older adults with good vision.
Two hundred seventy-two patients (68 with AMD, 49 with Fuchs' dystrophy, 82 with glaucoma, and 73 controls) from the ophthalmology clinics of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (Montreal, Canada) participated in a cross-sectional study from September 2009 until February 2011. Control patients who had normal visual acuity and visual fields were recruited from the same clinics. Questionnaire (life space, falls, and driving) and performance-based (one-legged balance test, Timed Up and Go [TUG] test) mobility data were collected; visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual field were measured; and the medical record was reviewed.
The three eye diseases were associated with different patterns of mobility limitations. Patients with glaucoma had the most types of mobility limitations, as they had reduced life-space scores, had worse TUG scores, were less likely to drive, and were more likely to have poor balance than the control group (P < 0.05). Compared with the controls, patients with AMD and Fuchs' corneal dystrophy had reduced life-space scores and were less likely to drive (P < 0.05).
The results suggest that eye diseases, especially glaucoma, restrain the mobility of older people in many different ways. It is important to further explore the impact of eye disease on mobility in this population, to develop interventions that could help affected older adults maintain their independence.
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