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D. S. Friedman, E. Freeman, B. Munoz, H. D. Jampel, S. K. West; Glaucoma and Mobility Performance: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1558.
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To determine the impact of glaucoma on mobility in a population-based cohort.
Persons examined as part of a population-based eye disease study performed a series of tasks including walking an obstacle course, climbing stairs, performing tandem stands, and walking a 4- meter course. Persons with glaucoma were compared to those without glaucoma to identify differences in mobility. The main outcome measures were speed to complete the obstacle course, number of bumps, ability to perform tandem stands, walking and stair climbing speeds.
1,250 subjects participated in the study. In an analysis adjusting for age, race and sex, walking speed through the obstacle course was 2.3 meters/minute slower for persons with bilateral glaucoma (which represents an age, race, and sex adjusted decrease of 7%) and these individuals experienced 1.63 times the number of bumps when compared to persons without glaucoma (p < 0.05 for both). None of the associations were statistically significant comparing persons with unilateral glaucoma to normals. These associations remained after adjusting for other potentially confounding factors including visual acuity, body mass index, height, MiniMental State Exam score, grip strength, arthritis, depressive symptoms, comorbidities, and the use of mobility aids. Additional analyses indicate that visual field loss drove these associations.
Bilateral glaucoma reduces mobility performance as measured in multiple ways in this population-based study of community-dwelling individuals. Persons with bilateral glaucoma completed the walking course more slowly and had more bumps even after adjusting for use of a mobility aid, comorbidities, and visual acuity. After adjusting for all other factors, persons with bilateral glaucoma walked on average 2.3 meters less per minute through the course than those without glaucoma.
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