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Ellen E. Freeman, Mihaela Popescu, Heidi Schmaltz, Marie-Jeanne Kergoat, Jacqueline Rousseau, Solmaz Moghadaszadeh, Fawzia Djafari, Hélène Boisjoly; Eye Disease And Mobility Limitations In Older Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4231.
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To examine the extent of mobility limitations in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, or Fuchs corneal dystrophy as compared to a control group of older adults with good vision.
We recruited 253 patients (61 with AMD, 45 with Fuchs, 79 with glaucoma, and 68 controls) from the ophthalmology clinics of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (Montreal, Canada) from September 2009 until October 2010. Patients with AMD and Fuchs had to have visual acuity in the better eye of 20/40 or worse while patients with glaucoma had to have visual field in their worse eye of at least -4dB. Control patients were recruited from the same clinic and had normal visual acuity and visual field. Questionnaire (life space, falls, driving, exercise) 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 assessed, and the medical record was reviewed. Linear and logistic regression was used to control for demographic and health factors.
The three eye diseases were associated with different patterns of mobility limitations. After adjustment, patients with glaucoma had the most types of mobility limitations as they had reduced life space, 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 to controls, patients with AMD or Fuchs corneal dystrophy had reduced life space (P<0.05), and AMD patients were less likely to drive (P<0.05). Neither exercise nor falls were related to eye disease in this study.
Visually limiting eye disease, especially glaucoma, is associated with limited mobility in older adults. The health implications of these findings should be examined in further research.
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