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Navasuja Kumar, Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, David Musch, Sioban Harlow, Sayoko Moroi; Association of Vision Impairment and Depressive Symptoms Among Midlife Women: Study of Woman’s Health Across the Nation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):4097. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Little is known about the impact of vision impairment (VI) on depressive symptoms among midlife (40-65 years) adults, despite a high prevalence of depression among this age group and presence of many common eye diseases that can compromise vision. We conducted cross-sectional observational studies at two time points during the midlife years, to assess the contribution of VI to depressive symptoms.
The data for this study were derived from the Study of Woman’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a multiethnic population-based study. Visual acuities (distance and near) were measured using the Titmus vision screener. Assessment of depressive symptoms was based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CESD) questionnaire. A score of ≥ 16 was considered to be indicative of depressive symptoms. Distance VI was defined as distance visual acuity 20/40 or worse. The same cut point was used to define near VI. The effect of VI on depressive symptoms was analyzed using logistic regression.
At baseline there were 384 women aged 42-53 years. Multivariable logistic regression showed that midlife women with near VI had 61% higher odds of reporting depressive symptoms (OR = 1.61, 95% CI (0.98, 2.65); P = 0.06) and this association achieved borderline statistical significance, while those with distance VI did not have a statistically significant higher odds (OR = 1.18; 95% CI (0.67, 2.11); P = 0.56). At the follow-up visit, which took place up to 10 years later (mean follow-up interval = 5 years), data were obtained from 384 women aged 51-63 years. Multivariable logistic regression showed that in the later midlife years, women with distance VI had 70% higher odds of reporting depressive symptoms (OR = 1.70, 95% CI (1.03, 2.80); P = 0.04) while those with near VI did not have a statistically significant higher odds (OR = 1.38; 95% CI (0.75, 2.53); P = 0.30).
VI is a factor associated with midlife depressive symptoms. Near and distance VI have varying effects on depressive symptoms during early and later midlife years. Adaptation to presbyopia during the course of midlife and onset of age-related ophthalmic diseases affecting distance vision in the later midlife years, could be factors contributing to the differential effect observed.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
Table 1: Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms, Distance and Near Visual Impairment (VI)
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