July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
The impact of visual impairment on quality of life among older adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ecosse Luc Lamoureux
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, Singapore
    Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, Singapore
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Ecosse Lamoureux, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  The study is funded by National Medical Research Council (0796/2003, IRG07nov013, IRG09nov014, STaR/0003/2008; CG/SERI/2010) and Biomedical Research Council (08/1/35/19/550, 09/1/35/19/616) grants. The sponsors or funding organizations had no role in the design or conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 2840. doi:
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      Ecosse Luc Lamoureux; The impact of visual impairment on quality of life among older adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):2840.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Presentation Description : Vision impairment (VI) is a major public health concern among elderly adults worldwide, placing a heavy burden on the individual and society in terms of disability, quality of life (QoL), and economic costs. People worldwide are living longer and, by 2050, the world’s population aged ≥60 years will double to reach ~2 billion individuals. Today, 125 million people are aged ≥80 years. Our understanding of the patient-centred impact of ocular pathologies and associated VI is however limited. Using a population based cohort (N>10,000), our work found the prevalence of VI to be more than three times higher among adults aged ≥70 years compared to younger adults. However, while those with VI had significantly poorer vision-specific functioning (VSF) compared to their normally-sighted counterparts (11%), the decrement in VSF was similar across all age groups. Interestingly, when we considered incident VI (20.1%), we found that the relative reduction in VSF systematically increased with age. For example, compared to those who were normally sighted at both baseline and follow-up, those with incident VI aged <55 years (11%), 50 to <65 years (21%), and ≥65 years (36%) had 9%, 15% and 21% reductions in VSF, respectively.
However, the major shortcoming of current published literature is the small representation of the very old i.e., those aged 75 years and above. There is also a lack of holistic QoL data which include emotional and social functioning, as well as the QoL impact of other components of the visual function system including contrast sensitivity, stereo acuity and colour discrimination and their interaction with multi-morbidity. Therefore, to understand the true impact of VI among older adults, comprehensive research into the oldest old is needed. We currently have an epidemiological, nationally-representative, population-based study ongoing in Singapore – the Epidemiology, PreventiOn and InterVentIon for Eye Diseases in the Elderly (PROVIDE) – which aims to explore the epidemiology of eye diseases, VI, and the visual function system; and their patient-centred and economic impact in >3000 Singaporeans aged ≥60 years. During this SIG, we hope to present some preliminary data from PROVIDE on the impact of VI (including all aspects of visual function system) on our elderly cohort’s QoL, including mobility, independence, and emotional-wellbeing.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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