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Alexandra Mikhailova, Matti Ojamo, Mika Gissler, Seppo Koskinen, Harri Rissanen, Päivi Sainio, Hannu M T Uusitalo; Visual acuity, health-related quality of life, and their correlation in a nationwide epidemiological study of adult population in Finland. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1354.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In developed countries, aging population and rising life expectancy are increasing the prevalence of vision-threatening diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Despite therapeutic progress, problems in visual function remain an issue, affecting quality of life of the patients and their families, and adding to health care costs. In this population-based study we examined the profiles and correlation of visual function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Finnish adults in 2000 and 2011.
We utilized the nationwide surveys of health and well-being—Health 2000 and 2011—carried out by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. The sample (aged 30 and older) represented the adult population of Finland, and the study subjects participated in an interview and health examination. Visual acuity (VA) was measured from 6,663 and 4,684 participants in 2000 and 2011, respectively. Moreover, VA was measured at both time-points from 3,867 participants, making it possible to evaluate the changes in their visual function and overall health and well-being. HRQoL was assessed using two established instruments (15D and EQ-5D), and correlation with VA was investigated using IBM SPSS statistical software.
Visual function declines with age, while vision-threatening diseases become more prevalent. We observed a strong correlation between measured VA and the HRQoL scores at both time-points: age- and gender-adjusted HRQoL scores decreased in response to declining VA, and differences between participants with normal and poor VA (≤0.5, Snellen 20/40, LogMAR 0.30) were statistically significant (p<0.001). The most affected aspects were self-care, daily activities (e.g. housework and leisure activities), and mobility. Finally, HRQoL scores declined to a higher degree for participants whose VA was normal in 2000 but decreased to ≤0.5 by follow-up in 2011, compared with the participants whose VA remained above 0.5 during the course of 11 years.
Decreased visual function plays a major role in self-reported HRQoL, especially in the areas of self-care, daily activities and mobility. Evaluating how decreased visual function affects quality of life and functional capacity helps put in perspective the need for new treatment options aiming to postpone the onset of visual impairment.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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